Monocacy Boulevard Bridge

The new Monocacy Boulevard bridge over the Monocacy river, right, and the existing bridge are expected to be open at the end of the month.

After a long process that has tried the patience of drivers and officials alike, cars could be driving across the bridges of Monocacy Boulevard at the end of the month.

The project is expected to be substantially completed and open to traffic in late October, although the City of Frederick is still awaiting final confirmation from the contractor, Washington, D.C.-based Milani Construction, Tracy Coleman, deputy director of public works for engineering and operations for the city, said Thursday.

Crews have done about two-thirds of the base paving on the project, with the rest scheduled to be done next week, she said.

“It’s always exciting to see paving be installed,” Coleman said.

More minor work still to be done includes having a subcontractor put in conduits for streetlights, and work on a shared use path.

The project involves widening about 3,550 feet of the road to a four-lane arterial road, adding a new traffic signal at Monocacy Boulevard and Gas House Pike and constructing a second bridge adjacent to the existing one over the Monocacy River.

The stretch of road was supposed to reopen in April, but by May, city officials were hoping for an opening in late July or early August.

In August, the city announced that there was no solid date for when the project would open, citing “issues” between them and Milani.

With that history in mind, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said Thursday that he won’t be satisfied until the project is complete.

“We’re not going to let up on the gas now,” he said.

O’Connor said the city doesn’t have many projects on the horizon that will pose the challenges that the Monocacy Boulevard has.

The city has two other projects, at Opossumtown Pike and Christophers Crossing and at Butterfly Lane and Himes Avenue, that seem to be going very well, he said.

But he expects the city to look at contracts going forward to make sure the enforcement measures are as robust as possible.

“I’ve not seen a project quite like this one in my time,” O’Connor said.

The project created a challenge from its earliest stages.

It had to be rebid in 2016 after the first round of three bids all came in substantially higher than the anticipated cost of $16.7 million.

The second round of bids ranged from Milani’s $21.8 million to $24.5 million from another company.

In March 2017, work had to be temporarily halted after the city was alerted that an archaeological assessment for part of the site hadn’t been conducted.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter:

@RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(25) comments

ma23464

Many times it’s not the contractors fault. Sometimes it’s the municipality that slows the projects. Change orders that take forever for approval and stupid job shutdown rules. You would be surprised how much a governmental agency can slow down a project.

flyga

Can't wait to ride my bicycle across this bridge to safely access northern Frederick County.

mikec

Must be this company's first bridge. For such a small project, sure took a long time.

dcheesep

Finally!!!!! [smile]

DickD

Time for a party!

HistoricBuzz

I'd love to know why they couldn't leave Monocacy open while the built the new bridge and roadway, and THEN close it just long enough to make he final connections, instead of complelty closung the old road, before even starting on the new bridge. Did they just not think it through?

gary4books

They said there was not enough space and it could not be done. I suspect it would have cost much more to leave a lane open.

KellyAlzan

I wondered same. For sure a deficiency in foresight

Three0fNine

The originations was 2 lanes -one for each direction. Now (or whenever it opens) there's a median separating them. My question is why are they installing conduit now? That should have been finished before the concrete was poured, right? Nothing is built quickly in Frederick City or County. SOP Nothing new around here.........

Whatsup

When it opens, I'd bet money the project won't be fully completed. They will have to finish up the sidewalk, the curbs, the landscaping or something! [thumbup]

DickD

They said that. it is just the part finished that is being opened.

seanjames

shh let the guy see if he can find a sucker willing to take a bet on what is already the plan

Brookhawk

Construction and maintenance work ALWAYS takes longer and costs more than originally planned. Look how long it took to get the Monocacy Blvd-Christopher Crossing bridge over US 15 built. My condo building got a roof replacement contract that started early in November and was due to take 3 weeks. It was finally finished in March. I don't know if bidders intentionally overpromise and bid too low, but you pretty much have to assume they are doing that, then hold their feet to the fire (if it's worth it - often a big if) when they don't deliver.

DickD

Just had a roof put on. Signed a contract, supposed to be within four weeks, It was done in three. They had 15 people working on it, started a little after 7, was done at 3:45 that day. They even did another house, starting about 3 and finishing about 7.

collinsm65

Had a roof started and finished on time and on budget. If you do your homework in excruciating detail, you don't get surprised.

Kafir al-Amriki

That's the inherent problem with "low bid wins". Cost is critical, but should not be the deciding factor. This happens all the time with the government and going with "low bid".

Crusty Frederick Man 64

You can push on the gas all you want mayor but unless your in gear nothing moves.

gary4books

Crusty - hear the motor roar! [beam]

collinsm65

Whomever handled the contracting of this fiasco needs to be sacked. The contractor needs to be banished from ever doing work in the county again. There are enough experienced people in the region that know contracting. Find one next time, eh?

gary4books

Too harsh. They deserve another chance.

KellyAlzan

Unreal.

Waltsun

I'll believe it when I'm driving across one of the bridges lol.

Rockfish

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

DickD

Me too [thumbup]

ebr1024

+ without falling into the Monocacy?

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