Drivers can expect delays on I-695 as work starts on Providence Road bridge

Span being replaced to prepare for widening of loop around Towson

January 08, 2000|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

Motorists already struggling with traffic on the north side of Interstate 695 can look forward to another headache starting tomorrow.

Work will begin on replacement of the Providence Road bridge over the Beltway to make ready for a future widening of the loop's busy north side.

The $3.5 million project will continue until September 2001, weather permitting, causing periodic night and early-morning lane closures on the Beltway. Providence Road will remain open during construction, although lanes might be shifted or single lanes closed.

About 150,000 cars travel on the Beltway in that area each day. To minimize delays, the work will be coordinated with a project that has started to reconfigure the nearby Dulaney Valley Road overpass, State Highway Administration officials said.

The Providence Road overpass, 220 feet long and 39 feet wide, will be replaced with a span 260 feet long and 55 feet wide. Providence Road will have two lanes of traffic, although the sidewalk will be widened and the interchange ramps reconfigured to join smoothly with the bridge.

The work will be done by The Six-M Co. of Delta, Pa., which also is doing the Dulaney Valley Road project.

The changes are needed to prepare for a future widening of the Beltway from six to eight lanes around Towson. The north-side widening is not budgeted, but will complement expansions on the Beltway's west and southwest sides, helping to alleviate congestion on the busiest stretches of the loop.

Because work on the Dulaney Valley Road interchange will be occurring at the same time, state officials say motorists should prepare for delays, especially in the evenings.

Transportation officials give the following schedule for closures:

Single-lane and shoulder closures along westbound and eastbound I-695 may occur between midnight and 5 a.m. and between 7 p.m. and midnight Sundays. Single-lane and shoulder closures may occur between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

Double-lane and shoulder closures along I-695 may occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays.

Full roadway closures on I-695 may occur for a maximum of 15 minutes between midnight and 5 a.m.

Single-lane closures on the Providence Road bridge may occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. weekdays.

During construction, flag holders, signs, arrow boards and traffic walls will guide motorists through the work zone.

State highway officials said motorists may want to use alternative routes such as York Road and Cromwell Bridge Road into Towson.

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