(March 20, 2015) – The State Highway Administration (SHA) will detour traffic around the MD 272 (Mauldin Avenue) Bridge on Tuesday, March 24 as part of the $19 million project to replace the bridge in North East, Cecil County.  The detour will be in place for up to four weeks, weather permitting. 
Motorists traveling north on MD 272 will turn right on MD 7 (East Old Philadelphia Road) then left on Mechanics Valley Road  then left on US 40 to connect back with MD 272.  Southbound MD 272 motorists will turn left on US 40, then right on Mechanics Valley Road, then right on MD 7 and connect back with MD 272. The detour is approximately 2.5 miles.
The closure is necessary as crews replace the deteriorated approaches to the bridge with new concrete.  The contractor will work on-site 24 hours per day, seven days a week, until the work is complete. 
The construction zone will also be closed to all pedestrian traffic during the four week detour.  Pedestrians will be able to use a temporary shuttle service established through the efforts of Cecil County and the Town of North East using Cecil County Transit.  Shuttle vouchers will be available to pedestrians for the temporary shuttle service from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Town of North East Town Hall, 106 South Main Street.

The existing MD 272 Bridge over Amtrak was built in 1954, has three-foot wide sidewalks and no shoulders.  The new single-span bridge will include two travel lanes, five-foot wide shoulders and ADA compliant sidewalks.
The bridge project also includes two retaining walls and a partial realignment of one-quarter mile along Mauldin Avenue.  Crews will construct new five-foot wide concrete sidewalks on both sides of MD 272 and ADA compliant pedestrian ramps that will extend along MD 272 from the intersection with Main and Russell streets to the entrance of the North East Station Shopping Center. Construction of the entire project is expected to be complete late 2016.
After this initial detour ends in about one month, motorists traveling across the MD 272 (Maudlin Avenue) Bridge should prepare for brief delays. During the duration of the project, SHA will maintain two lanes of traffic.  At times, SHA will use a flagging operation to guide both directions of traffic through the work zone. 
SHA’s contractor may also need to close a single lane on Saturdays in case inclement weather occurs. SHA will coordinate any single-lane closures on Saturdays in advance with the Town of North East.
While SHA and its transportation partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert and look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.  Slow down and don’t follow too closely. Safer Driving.  Safer Work Zones. For Everyone!
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