Dear Delegate Fisher,
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with the local community and business owners of Prince Frederick. We are sensitive to all local stakeholders and visitors to the area impacted by Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) construction project currently underway on MD 765 (Main Street) and MD 231 (Church Street). I believe that the meeting was productive for all who attended with information and opinions shared and heard by each side on Monday September 14, 2105.
SHA typically uses a low bid process to award construction work to a firm who must follow the details specified in the contract documents while SHA staff performs oversight and inspection. A critical part of any SHA contract is ensuring that we adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations throughout the entire process. For these reasons, the majority of the work on this project to date was focused on addressing storm water requirements and mitigating environmental impacts to adhere to required regulations.
One key element that was not included in the contract documents for this project was the road closure duration on MD 765 (Main Street). Although we have been made aware of the 6 to 8 week road closure commitment made by SHA to the Prince Frederick community, there was no restrictions in the contract documents for that requirement. From the Contractor’s perspective, they had the ability to maintain the road closure for the entire duration of the contract. SHA has reviewed the construction sequence from all angles and are reworking the project steps in a manner that we will be able to accelerate the intersection work without any additional negative impact on safety, traffic or the environment.
Our proposal is as follows:
- SHA has met with the Contractor and they have agreed to adjust the construction resources to get MD 765 (Main Street) open more rapidly than required in the contract documents.
- The Contractor will be spending 2 to 3 weeks raising the grade of the roadway and profile of the surrounding area and installing required hydraulic and environmental features.
- The Contractor will then spend the next 2 to 3 weeks paving the roadway and constructing roadside safety features.
- This sequence will allow MD 765 (Main Street) to be open to traffic while allowing MD 231 (Church Street) to remain closed until all storm drain and sidewalk has been completed.
- Once MD 765 (Main Street) is re-opened to thru traffic, the Contractor will utilize a flagging operation to do all necessary work; curb and gutter, sidewalk and other work along MD 765 (Main Street) and MD 231 (Church Street).
- After speaking with SHA hydraulic engineers, it has been determined no additional pervious area will be added as a result of the completion of this project.
- Once the construction sequence moves closer to the Business District on MD 765 (Main Street), a flagging operation will be utilized and work will be completed at night while local businesses are closed.
- We will match the 6 to 8 week road closure sequence on Main Street starting with Labor Day. SHA realizes the total road closure will be longer than expected, but we cannot accelerate the construction sequence any quicker and remain in adherence with all regulations.
- SHA has added a variable message sign (VMS) on southbound MD 2/4 just past MD 402 (Dares Beach Road) to provide drivers with additional information about the detour. The 2 panel sign reads “ To MD 765 Main Street” “Follow Detour”
- SHA will add a 2nd VMS on southbound MD2/4 just south of the intersection of MD 231(Church Street) to provide the driver with additional detour information into the downtown area.
- SHA will add a 3rd VMS on Old Field Lane providing the driver with the final detour information, directing them to a left on MD 765 (Main Street).
- Once MD 765 (Main Street) is re-opened, the variable message signs will be removed.
- SHA will have the “Road Closed” Sign at Mattress Store relocated down MD 231 (Church Street) away from businesses to avoid confusion.
- SHA traffic engineers are investigating the turning movement from northbound MD 765 (Main Street) to southbound MD 2/4. While this is not directly part of the existing construction project, we will use the concerns expressed at our meeting to make future decisions at this specific location.
- SHA traffic engineers are investigating signal timing at MD 2/4 and MD 402. While this is not directly part of the existing construction project, we will use the concerns expressed at our meeting to make future decisions at this specific location.
- Main Street (MD 765) is scheduled to be open to traffic by October 30, 2015.
- Estimated Completion Date: Fall of 2016
- Our District 5 Community Liaison, Hilary Gonzales, will be updating the SHA project webpage on a regular basis.
- Project updates will be available to business owners and citizens of Prince Frederick as they become available.
- Link to website http://apps.roads.maryland.gov/WebProjectL…/ProjectHome.aspx
Let me know how you prefer we proceed with sharing this information with the community.