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SHA project to stabilize MD 135 set to begin

May 15th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Next week, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will begin a project to stabilize the side of the mountain adjacent to MD 135 (Westernport Road) near MD 36 (Victory Post Road) in Allegany County.  SHA geotechnical engineers will implement a solution called “Soil Nailing” that will take approximately six weeks to complete.  Since April, SHA maintained two-way traffic with a flagging operation along one lane of MD 135 to safely contain falling rock and debris from the unstable mountainside.  Beginning tomorrow, a new temporary traffic signal will replace the flagging operation. The soil nailing technique is a multi-step process that includes clearing loose stones, removing unstable and saturated soils and installing new drainage devices to redirect groundwater. Crews will then drill into the mountain surface and insert rebar using concrete grout for strength.  The contractor will install a chain link fence over the rebar, and top it with a layer of concrete.  To complete the project, SHA will install a 60 foot long retaining wall as an added precaution. “Soil nailing is an innovative solution proven successful in stabilizing mountainsides and keeping roadways safe from falling rock,” said SHA District Engineer Anthony Crawford.  “We appreciate the patience and cooperation of drivers in this area while the repairs are completed.”

SHA will begin the $500,000 slope stabilization project on Monday, May18.  The work is expected to last up to six weeks, weather permitting.

“Soil Nailing” is a process used previously in Maryland to repair failing roadside slopes.  The contractors for the repair are Geostabilization International of Grand Junction, Co. and Carl Belt, Inc. of Cumberland.

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