The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is committed to providing a safe and reliable highway system to all users. I would like to clarify details of the U.S. 15 project between Hansonville and Hessong Bridge roads, and how ‘J-turns’ enhance traffic safety and operations.
This design has been shown to greatly reduce right-angle crashes by eliminating crossover movements within an intersection. Traffic volume has increased dramatically along this section of U.S. 15, from 37,000 two decades ago, to 50,000 today. This change has impacted the safe operation of turning movements of the existing crossovers.
We constructed a raised median at the Devilbiss Bridge Road/Bartgis Road intersection that closes access on the side roads from crossing U.S. 15. Motorists on Devilbiss Bridge Road now turn right onto northbound U.S. 15 and make a U-turn at the Hansonville Road/Hessong Bridge Road intersection and proceed on southbound U.S. 15 to a 1,500-foot-long, marked acceleration lane.
The left turn from Old Frederick Road across U.S. 15 to the southbound lanes is temporarily closed and will reopen after final paving next spring. There will also be a new acceleration lane, approximately 1,300 feet long, in the median for traffic to safely enter the U.S. 15 southbound lanes.
We expect that most of the traffic will be into the permanent pattern by the end of this year, with final paving and pavement markings to be complete by early spring 2020.
New traffic patterns can be challenging at first, but we are confident that these major improvements will benefit the tens of thousands of motorists every day. I appreciate the opportunity to clarify the current construction activity.