Thirty years – that’s how long officials in Hagerstown, Maryland, have been planning for the construction of the Professional Boulevard bridge over Antietam Creek. In February 2020, our Highway and Bridge and Site crews teamed up to construct the long-awaited, 300-foot, four-lane bridge that runs over the creek and an adjoining roadway to Yale Drive. Other work included the removal of an existing cul-de-sac, installation of asphalt, utilities, a new storm drain and 3,000 linear feet of road base.
Like many other projects where our work crossed over a waterway, protecting the integrity of Antietam Creek was crucial for our team. Our Highway and Bridge crew installed a turbidity curtain to ensure that excess sediment didn’t enter the creek.
Beyond the waterway, the location of this project created challenges for our Site crew as well. They encountered vertical rock faces and exposed rock where they needed to build a temporary road to access the site. The rock was incredibly solid, so they had to cut 25 feet to build the road base.
In addition to these obstacles, our Highway and Bridge crew also faced challenges that came along with working through the pandemic. Supply chain issues meant that lead times on materials were roughly doubled. To keep the project moving along, they made sure to schedule orders further in advance and worked closely to coordinate schedules around material arrival. Highway and Bridge Project Manager, Greg Volpitta, said he was happy to have our Site crew on this project, as they could rely on each other to help when needed and ensure everyone was working in the right direction.
Thanks to the hard work of both crews, we completed all of our work in August this year. Additional work by others is needed to complete this project, and the bridge is expected to open for traffic by 2022. Once complete, the Professional Boulevard bridge and roadway will ease congestion and help improve public safety. Most importantly, it will shave five minutes off of emergency vehicle response times from Hagerstown’s North End to Meritus Medical Center, giving first responders faster access to life-saving resources.