Maryland Looks to Unclog Long-Time Bottleneck

Thu August 27, 2020 - Northeast Edition #18
Brenda Ruggiero – CEG Correspondent

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) awarded the $131 million contract to Tutor Perini Corporation of New Rochelle, N.Y.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) awarded the $131 million contract to Tutor Perini Corporation of New Rochelle, N.Y.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) awarded the $131 million contract to Tutor Perini Corporation of New Rochelle, N.Y. The work consists of widening the outer loop roadway to provide four continuous through lanes with auxiliary lanes and more. Among the unique features of this project was keeping all interstate through lanes open during peak travel hours on one of the busiest segments of I-695. The project includes 80,000 cu. yds. of earth work excavation; 27,000 cu. yds. of select borrow; and 19,000 cu. yds. of common borrow.


The construction of the Baltimore Beltway I-695 Outer Loop is getting closer to its completion date of late summer 2021.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) awarded the $131 million contract to Tutor Perini Corporation of New Rochelle, N.Y.

The project began in the fall of 2015.

According to Shantee Felix, assistant media relations manager of the office of communications for MDOT SHA, the project begins south of U.S. 40 (Baltimore National Pike) and goes to MD 144 (Frederick Road) for a total distance of 1.44 mi.

"It will alleviate a long-standing bottleneck that impacts roughly 200,000 motorists who use this section of the roadway," she said.

The work consists of the following: widening of the outer loop roadway to provide four continuous through lanes with auxiliary lanes, replacement of the outer loop Edmondson Avenue and Ingleside Avenue bridges over I-695, rehabilitation work on the Inner Loop Edmondson Avenue and Ingleside Avenue bridges over I-695, construction of new retaining walls, new noise barriers and modifications to existing retaining walls and noise barriers and realignment of the MD 144 interchange ramps tying to the I-695 Outer Loop roadway.

In addition, the contract calls for replacement of curb and gutter and pavement repairs along Edmondson Avenue (Exit 14), the reconstruction of Ingleside Avenue immediately beneath I-695 to provide a closed roadway section (with curbs and gutters) and a closed drainage system, and reconstruction and realignment of approximately 200 ft. of Forest Avenue where it connects with Edmondson Avenue near the interchange (Exit 14).

Existing utilities also will be relocated and reconstruction and upgrades will be made to drainage, stormwater management, lighting, State of Maryland telecommunications equipment and MDOT SHA traffic signals at interchanges to accommodate the Outer Loop widening. Landscaping will so be completed within the project limits.

"Weather and planning for traffic switches were among the challenges our crews faced," Felix said. "There have been a few severe rain events that led to flooding and washouts within the project area. Also, this work impacts hundreds of thousands of drivers who travel this section daily, so it took a great deal of strategizing on our part to implement traffic switches."

She noted that one of the unique features to this project was keeping all interstate through lanes open during peak travel hours on one of the busiest segments of I-695. In 2018, daily traffic in both directions was reported as 164,100 at the Northern project limit just south of U.S. 40, 199,312 in the middle of the project at Edmondson Avenue and 191,631 at the end of the project at MD 144.

In summer 2019, MDOT SHA closed the ramp from I-695 South/Outer Loop at Exit 13 — MD 144 (Frederick Road) for reconstruction of the ramp as part of the highway widening project. Weather permitting, this ramp will reopen in early fall 2020.

Felix reported that the project includes 80,000 cu. yds. of earth work excavation, 27,000 cu. yds. of select borrow and 19,000 cu. yds. of common borrow.

The project also includes 8,000 linear ft. of RCC pipe, 19,000 linear ft. of 6-in under drain pipe, 14,000 linear ft. of drilled shaft caisson, 41,000 linear ft. of pile driving and 110,000 sq. ft. of noise barrier.

Other quantities include 180,000 linear ft. of pavement marking, 90,000 tons of hot mix asphalt pavement, 151,000 sq, yds. of graded aggregate base, 14,000 linear ft. of concrete barrier and 25,000 cu. yds. of concrete.

All equipment for the project is owned by Tutor Perini Corporation. The list includes a Caterpillar 335 excavator, a Caterpillar 930-G front-end loader, a Caterpillar 236 skid steer, Caterpillar excavators, including a 304E, 308, 320, 328, 335 and 935F, a Caterpillar 950 loader, a Grove crane RT600, a Mantis 14100 crane, a Tadano 16010 crane and a Tadano 60-ton crane. CEG

Subs on the Job

Assisting on the Baltimore Beltway I-695 Outer Loop project are:

  • Long Fence Co.
  • Penn Line Service Inc.
  • Zone Striping Inc.
  • Stolar Construction Inc.
  • Hagan & Sons Tree Services
  • Erosion Control & Landscape Services
  • Seismic Surveys Inc.
  • Ligon & Ligon Inc.
  • East Cost Underground Inc.
  • Melcar, Flanigan & Sons Inc.
  • East Coast Concrete Specialties Inc.
  • Bel Air Underground Services Inc.
  • Plum Contracting
  • J & M Sweeping
  • Lorenzo Construction
  • Alfredo Trucking
  • Interlock Steelworkers
  • Pessoa Construction
  • RNG Construction
  • Palencia Construction
  • Dot Diamond Core Drilling