Work underway on Wise bridge and Merritt Boulevard
Wednesday, 06 November 2013 12:42

Wise Avenue bridge, Merritt Boulevard both under repair

by Ben Boehl

    Getting around has become a little harder in some areas of Dundalk, as construction has begun on Merritt Boulevard and repairs are being made to the Wise Avenue drawbridge.
    The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) announced last year that Merritt Boulevard, which is designated as MD 157, was scheduled to receive upgrades that includes a four-inch  pavement overlay.
    According to Fran Ward, a spokesperson for the SHA, the repairs will be done over the next year.
    “The Merritt Boulevard project is currently slated for completion next fall 2014, weather permitting,” Ward said.            The repairs to Merritt Boulevard also include the installation of new curbs and gutters along the roadside and in the median, ADA upgrades and sidewalk replacement, new concrete driveway aprons and traffic signal modifications that include accessible pedestrian signals, countdown pedestrian signals and LED traffic lights.
    The improvements are slated only for the southern portion of Merritt Boulevard between Wise Avenue and Peninsula Expressway.
    The road had a lane closed in each direction last week.
    Ward said that most of the construction and lane closures will take place during the day Mondays through Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on Fridays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
    Occasional night work might occur Sundays through Thursdays between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
    “During construction work, there will be temporary median and shoulder closures, lane closures and lane shifts along the roadway,” Ward noted.
    “Motorists should plan ahead for extra time on Merritt Boulevard during the next year and look ahead for flag-persons, construction crews and heavy equipment and trucks while traveling to and from driveways and side streets in the work zone.”
    The SHA said that on-street parking should not be a major issue, as most of the road is commercial and the Eastfield-Stanbrook community has a service road.

However; the SHA said it will meet with residents near the Peninsula Expressway portion of Merritt if a driveway is blocked or if street parking temporarily becomes prohibited.
    “There may be some temporary restrictions on parking as crews remove and replace curb, gutter, storm drains, sidewalks and ramps to driveways.” Ward added.
    “Contractors usually do this type of work a section at a time and the project managers give notice to property owners prior to driveway ramp work.”
    Wendy Wolcott, assistant district engineer for project development with the SHA, added the road will become more bicycle-friendly.
    “The project does include a bicycle lane in each direction,” Wolcott said.
    Not far away, motorists can expect minor delays on Wise Avenue.   
    Baltimore County officials announced renovations at the Wise Avenue drawbridge spanning Bear Creek over the next three weeks.
    According to David Fidler, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, the bridge is scheduled to be open during the repairs but the east-bound lane is expected to be closed for road work between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
    Fidler said the work started on Monday.
    The county performed structural and mechanical repairs to the drawbridge’s track system in 2007.
    Fidler noted that the latest renovations will be minor and include replacing windows, installing rails and painting the small structure.
    “This is a small repair job,” Fidler said.