Work on I-270 sinkhole in Montgomery County could take weeks
Repairing the hole required crews to cut thick brush on the shoulder of the highway to make it a suitable site. State transportation officials said it took time to find the damaged pipe because several pipes were in the area.
Two lanes were closed on the freeway, creating long traffic disruptions on a section of freeway that averages around 190,000 vehicles a day. The highway administration has worked with jurisdictions to notify motorists of emergency road works and suggest alternative routes.
Montgomery County transportation officials adjusted the timing of traffic lights at Frederick Road, which is Maryland State Road 355 and parallels I-270, to accommodate more cars.
“With schools closed and our partners at the Montgomery County Department of Transportation adjusting the signal timing on MD-355, this has helped ease construction-related congestion,” the administration’s spokesperson said. highways, Charlie Gischlar.
The sinkhole on I-270 is expected to take days to repair
State highway officials activated overhead messages to alert drivers of lane closures in Frederick County and elsewhere to give them time to consider an alternate route before reaching the traffic slowdown, Gischlar said.
This 25-foot-wide sinkhole that opened today in the southbound lanes of I-270 just before 370 is expected to keep at least two lanes of traffic closed for a week! Expect big delays on your morning commute from anywhere north of Gaithersburg. @nbcwashington @First4Traffic pic.twitter.com/qQorRo5M7G
—Tom Lynch (@TomLynch_) June 16, 2022
Over the past week, workers have put up a concrete barrier to protect the site from vehicles, replacing the plastic cones and barrels that were initially used. Crews dug the area, assessed the hole using video equipment, and found a matching section of the 30-inch pipe in another part of the area, which resulted in the ordering of spares.
Crews hope to have the new pipe section on site within days, Gischlar said. Workers will then connect the new pipe to the existing pipe and backfill the area with rock and dirt.
“The estimated time is a few weeks to reopen the lanes,” Gischlar said. “If we progress faster, we can open the lanes sooner.”
A sinkhole causes backups on I-270 in the Gaithersburg area near I-370
Ride On buses continue to divert routes 70, 71, 73, 78, 79 and 100 due to lane closures. Transit officials had said the detours could last two weeks.
Officials with the metropolitan area’s Transportation Operations Coordination Program warned again on Tuesday that motorists should continue to expect delays, particularly during the morning rush hour.
State highway officials said they will keep drivers informed via Twitter and Facebook. Real-time travel conditions on Interstate 270 are available at chart.maryland.gov.