Work Speeds Ahead on Replacing Century-Old Bridges With Tunnel

Hampstead Awaits Return of ’Main Street’

Tue July 10, 2007 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero



A road project in Maryland is finally becoming a reality after dragging through the planning stages for more than 20 years.

Ground was broken in June 2006 for the $85 million project to construct an approximately 6-mi. (9.6 km) western bypass around the town of Hampstead in Carroll County. Known as the Hampstead Bypass, the project was designed to alleviate miles of backups each day along MD 30.

“This project has been in planning for more than 20 years but did not move off the shelf,” said Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“With funding generated by the passage of our 2004 transportation package, the Hampstead Bypass will be built. The Bypass will allow Hampstead residents to reclaim their ’main street’ while providing commuters a safer journey around the town.”

The two-lane roadway extends from north of Wolf Hill Drive to Broadbeck Road, and includes roundabouts at the northern and southern tie-ins to existing MD 30 (Hanover Pike) and at the intersection with MD 482 (Hampstead Mexico Road). It is approximately 6 mi. in length.

Currently, MD 30 serves local traffic in the town of Hampstead and provides a major route for through traffic traveling from southern Pennsylvania to the greater Baltimore metropolitan area. At the time of the groundbreaking, it was reported that approximately 20,000 vehicles currently used MD 30 through Hampstead. By 2030, it is projected that more than 24,000 vehicles will use the bypass, and 12,000 will travel along MD 30.

The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) awarded the contract for the project to Corman Construction Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Md. Construction began in the summer of 2006. It is currently on schedule, and is scheduled for completion by fall 2008, according to Kellie Boulware of the SHA office of communications. The construction project is 36 percent complete.

“Environmental stewardship is one of the main issues for SHA during the Hampstead Bypass construction,” she said. “SHA is concentrating heavily on erosion and sediment control, and is also taking steps to ensure the preservation of the bog turtle, which has a habitat near the project area.”

The 4-in, bog turtle is recognized as a national endangered species. They will be protected by a modified super-silt fence that will extend 42 in. (106.7 cm) above the ground. Beneath ground level, the fence will be buried 8 in. to prevent tunneling into the construction site.

The bypass includes 10-ft. (3 m) wide shoulders in each direction to safely accommodate bicyclists, and existing MD 30 will be realigned to include a spur to direct motorists to the bypass. Three two-lane roundabouts will have motorists enter and exit at a reduced speed. In addition, a new ADA-compliant sidewalk will be added to MD 482.

Two noise walls also are included in the contract to improve the quality of life for nearby residences — currently there are 47.

The design of the project was conducted by Whitney Bailey Cox and Magnani of Baltimore, Md.

“The construction of the Hampstead Bypass is being managed as a design-build project, which enabled SHA to advertise the design and construction of a project at one time,” Boulware said. “SHA provides conceptual plans, and the contractor designs the project within SHA guidelines. This significantly reduces the time to get a project from design to construction. SHA’s goal is to use design-build to supplement our traditional design-bid-build program — not to replace it.”

Ross Clingan is the project manager of SHA overseeing the construction. He works from SHA’s District 7 office, which oversees maintenance, construction, and traffic management for state-numbered routes in Carroll, Frederick, and Howard counties. He works in partnership with Paul Brady, project manager of Corman Construction Inc.

There are currently 80 people assigned to the project, including supervisors, construction foremen, operators, carpenters, and laborers.

According to Boulware, remaining work includes grading and excavation, placing the stone base and asphalt for the new roadway lanes, storm drain and storm water management ponds, noise walls, guardrail installation, new signing and lighting, landscaping and planting and construction of the three new roundabouts.

The project will involve a total of 900,000 cu. yds. (688,099 cu m) of earth being moved, 3,000 cu. yds. (2,293.7 cu m) of structural bridge concrete, and 102,000 tons (92,533 t) of asphalt.

Equipment includes crawler cranes, rough-terrain cranes, excavators, backhoes, dozers, scrapers, and off-road trucks.

Major subcontractors include HTI Inc., Mid-Atlantic Environmental, CJ Miller, Interlock Steel Erectors, Midasco, Barbies Recycling and Hauling, Guardrails Etc., Sunrise Safety Services, Best Fence and Priceless Industries.CEG