MD85 at I-270 Interchange Reconstruction

Frederick, MD
Location: Fredrick, MD
Owner: Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration
Construction Company: Fay, S&B USA Construction
Project Status: Completed in December 2023
This project improved mobility and enhanced the safety of the MD 85 and I-270 intersection. Fay replaced the existing I-270 twin bridges over MD 85 and rebuilt a new three-span, 450-foot long and 120-foot wide structure. Fay also constructed a partial diverging diamond interchange and a new median on MD85 to address the heavily congested traffic. This new method minimized conflicts from oncoming traffic, shortened wait times, and enhanced sight lines. Additionally, Fay widened 1.5 miles of MD85, adding supplementary turn lanes.
Aerial image provided courtesy of The Wilson T. Ballard Company
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This project, addressing a significant traffic volume with an Average Daily Traffic (ADT) of 115,000 vehicles on I-270 and 43,000 on MD85, is poised to substantially ease congestion in the area. Initially planned in nine Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) phases, the team successfully eliminated one phase and accelerated progress in two others, effectively consolidating the schedule and reducing impacts on the traveling public.

A key improvement was the realignment of on and off ramps, enhancing traffic flow and accessibility to both MD85 and I-270. The project also involved intricate coordination of complex utility relocations with eight different utility owners. Addressing geological challenges, particularly the presence of karst and limestone deposits, the team employed innovative solutions such as micro piles, low mobility displacement grout, and specific treatments for sinkholes.

In terms of storm drainage, the project replaced outdated piping with a more efficient solution that offers easier installation, better water-tightness, and cost savings. The utilization of the State Highway Administration's (SHA) Quality Assurance (QA) Toolkit for Erosion and Sediment (E&S) modifications led to time savings and reduced environmental impacts. This approach has been highly successful, as evidenced by the project receiving an 'A' grade on all seven Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA) E&S control quality assurance inspection reports to date.