In Design: Frederick County – Route 17/50/522 (Millwood Pike) Bridge over Interstate 81

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This project replaces the Route 17/50/522 (Millwood Pike) bridge over Interstate 81 at exit 313. The new bridge will be constructed just north of the current bridge location.  On both ends of the bridge, Millwood Pike will be reconstructed to tie into the new bridge location.

Millwood Pike in the project location is an east/west road with the western end leading into the City of Winchester and the eastern end leading into eastern Frederick County. The project’s western limits are just west of Mall Boulevard and its eastern limits are just east of Route 522 (Front Royal Pike).

Improved traffic operations will result from an extended auxiliary-lane and turn lanes, upgraded traffic signals, and a shared-use path along the north side of Millwood Pike beginning on the western side at Abrams Creek, extending across the new bridge to the Front Royal Pike intersection on the eastern side of the project.

I-81 Northbound and Southbound Off Ramps

The I-81 exit 313 northbound and southbound off ramps will have a larger radius by moving a little further north to connect with the new Millwood Pike Bridge.

Millwood Pike Bridge

On the eastbound side of the bridge there will be an eastbound merge lane from I-81 southbound off-ramp traffic entering eastbound Millwood Pike.  Additionally there will be two eastbound travel lanes.

On the westbound side of the bridge there will be a westbound merge lane from I-81 northbound off-ramp traffic entering westbound Millwood Pike. There will be three westbound travel lanes including the lengthened turn lane for Millwood Avenue.

The center of the bridge will have dual left-turn lanes. The westbound lanes will provide left-turns onto the I-81 southbound on-ramp. Eastbound lanes will provide left-turns onto the I-81 northbound on-ramp.

Millwood Pike West of the Bridge

On the western side of the bridge, the right-turn lane for Millwood Avenue will be extended back across the bridge, allowing motorists destined for the center of town to avoid congestion at the Apple Blossom Boulevard intersection. In this area westbound Millwood Pike intersects with the I-81 southbound exit ramp.  The ramp will have dual right-turn lanes onto westbound Millwood Pike and be a signalized intersection.

Also past the western side of the bridge, the Millwood Pike intersection with Mall Boulevard will receive a new traffic signal and be reconfigured to have a single left in from westbound Millwood Pike and a single right in from eastbound Millwood Pike.  Mall Boulevard will have a dual-right turn out onto eastbound Millwood Pike. There will be no left-turns from Mall Boulevard onto westbound Millwood Pike. This intersection configuration will improve traffic flow and provided better signal timing on Millwood Pike.

Eastbound Millwood Pike will have two travel lanes on the western side of the bridge and extending across the bridge to Front Royal Pike.

Millwood Pike East of the Bridge

East of the Millwood Pike Bridge on the eastern side of the Front Royal Pike intersection Millwood Pike will have two eastbound travel lanes and three westbound travel lanes. The westbound lanes will also have an additional right-turn lane onto I-81 northbound and an additional left-turn lane onto Front Royal Pike.

Existing Millwood Pike Bridge

The existing bridge was built in 1964 and has seven lanes. On I-81 in this location, traffic counts are 35,000 vehicles per day northbound and 34,000 vehicles per day southbound, for a combined 69,000 average vehicles per day. Current average daily traffic across the Millwood Pike bridge is 32,000 vehicles per day. It is estimated to be 61,200 vehicles per day in 2045.

Additional Project Related Information

Approval of project plans is scheduled for summer 2021 with right of way activities beginning in summer 2022.  Advertisement for construction is currently scheduled for late 2023.

The total estimated cost for this project is $38,373,326, including $3,300,000 for preliminary engineering, $4,426,796 for right of way and $30,646,530 for construction.

During bridge construction, the existing bridge and Millwood Pike roadway will be maintained.  It is anticipated that much of the Millwood Pike tie-in construction to the new bridge will be done outside the travel lanes, reducing traffic impacts. Occasional single lane closures may be necessary to move materials or construction equipment.  Pedestrian traffic through the work zone will be prohibited throughout the life of the project.

The City of Winchester was recently (December 2020) awarded revenue-sharing funding for a project at the western edge of this project. VDOT is closely coordinating with Winchester to ensure the success of both projects.  The revenue-sharing project would likely expand the improvements of the bridge project by further reducing congestion and increasing traffic flow along the Route 17/50/522 corridor. https://winfredmpo.org/project/mall-blvd/

Benefits 

The completed project will increase safety in the area by replacing the aging bridge and improve traffic operations with the inclusion of merge and turn lanes separate from through lanes. Weave movements and traffic backups will be reduced.  The new bridge will feature design elements that will accommodate future improvements to the Route 17/50/522 corridor and future improvements to I-81.  The project provides greater pedestrian access with the inclusion of a shared use path.

Resources

Contact Info:

David Robinson, P.E.
540-332-7758

Project Photos

UPC: 113535

State ID: 0017-034-911, R201, C501, B646

Federal ID: STP-5138(187)

Lat/Long: 39.162222, -78.157500

Locality: Frederick

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Millwood Pike public hearing display board
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Page last modified: Jan. 21, 2021