'Mount Glen Burnie' soon will bolster new exit ramps ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

February 03, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

It looks like it was designed by someone visualizing alien landing strips instead of highway exit ramps.

It is a Glen Burnie mountain with no name, containing 650,000 cubic yards -- give or take a few stones -- of reddish clay.

It towers a good four stories above motorists heading south on Interstate 97 or east onto Route 100 who must have wondered just what the heck it is.

Mostly, it is dirt the State Highway Administration has been importing from Baltimore, which is excavating a landfill on Hawkins Point, since last July.

The city needs to get rid of about 2 million cubic yards of dirt, and SHA needs about 700,000 cubic yards of it to build up the area where the new interchange at Route 100 and I-97 is to be built, said Ernie Hodshon, SHA assistant district engineer for construction in Annapolis.

Route 100 is to cross I-97 as it is extended westward, and the huge embankment is to help support the bridge.

Often, the state saves dirt it excavates at other highway projects for just such an occasion, or includes the price of dirt in its construction contracts.

A small part of the dirt, for example, comes from material removed during construction of the interchange where the Route 100 extension will cross the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

And best of all, this dirt is free, less the transportation costs, of course.

"It should be a saving to the state of $2 million to $4 million," Mr. Hodshon said. "We usually pay for it. We had a big windfall."

Bids for the interchange -- expected to be a $35 million project -- were opened yesterday. The contract is to be awarded in the coming weeks.

The work of rebuilding, widening and relocating existing ramps and adding new ramps should start some time this spring and take 2 1/2 years to complete, Mr. Hodshon said. By that time, Route 100 between I-97 and I-95 should be nearing completion.

Area residents can expect to see the dirt mound, which has a road winding through it, continue to change shape, as more dirt is piled on and removed during construction.

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