A project to repair a slope along U.S. 40 Alternate on Braddock Mountain that was damaged by heavy rain more than a year ago is scheduled to be finished late next month.
Work on the project has stretched on since it began in June 2018, as wet weather through much of 2018 and early 2019 delayed progress.
The project to replace a guardrail and to reinforce the slope of the mountain has closed off the right lane and shoulder of eastbound U.S. 40A between Fern Lane and Ridge Road, and is expected to be complete by the end of August.
The mountainside suffered significant erosion in heavy storms in May 2018 that dropped about 7 inches of rain in Frederick County, caused significant flooding and damaged a number of roads around the county.
The storms caused more than $6 million in estimated damage to public infrastructure in the county, and closed 44 roads in the immediate aftermath because of damage or high water.
The first phase of the $2.3 million project removed loose and unstable soil from the hillside and used a technique known as micropiles to create a foundation that would reinforce the slope of the mountain.
They also graded the slope in a staircase fashion and put down a layer of microfilm to help hold grassy areas in place to reinforce the slope and prevent future erosion.
Crews still need to do roadside stabilization from a new concrete flume to the edge of the pavement, guardrail work, some minor paving, and finish landscaping as the road opens to traffic, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said in an email Friday.
The persistent rain over the past year has complicated the construction, he said.
Workers need dry soil to do the work, he said.
Had the weather been more conducive to construction in 2018 and early 2019, the project would have been done in the early spring, Gischlar said.
“It’s frustrating [for] our guys, too,” he said.