An Aerial Look at the Infrastructure Projects in Frederick

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The City of Frederick has been hard at work to ensure that public facilities and services -- including roads and utilities -- are concurrent with new residential, commercial, and industrial developments to allow and promote sustainable growth. Last week, the Department of Economic Development took to the skies to get a better look at these infrastructure projects. 

 

Frederick Municipal Airport

Significant Project Dates: 2022, anticipated completion of Runway Extension

With more than 70,000 aircraft landings and takeoffs each year, Frederick’s Municipal Airport is the second busiest airport in Maryland. Uniquely positioned in close proximity to the DC/Metro Area while remaining just outside of the Special Flight Rules Area, the airport has become the preferred executive airport in the National Capital Region. Recognizing the facilities’ economic significance to Frederick, the City - with support from its partners at FAA, MAA, and Frederick County - has undertaken a multi-year capital program promoting aeronautical development.

Last year the City began installation of a new drainage system that will ensure proper storm management is in place for current and future development. Work has also commenced on the second phase of an obstruction removal project of vacant building along Bucheimer Road-- increasing the usable footprint of aviation property for runway expansions and future private hangar construction opportunities. The runway is planned to be lengthened by 600 feet to 5820 feet by 2020, allowing jets the ability to take on fuel while at FDK. These projects will enhance safety, increase capacity, and strengthen the competitiveness of the airport’s amenities.

"Through this runway extension project the airport is well-positioned to grow as a key economic multiplier while ensuring we are prepared to meet the needs of future aviation demand." Airport Manager, Rick Johnson
 

US 15 Interchange

at Monocacy Boulevard and Christophers Crossing 

Significant Project Dates: Summer 2018- Anticipated Completion

This $61 million undertaking will provide a full-diamond interchange and eliminate at-grade intersections on US-15. The improvements will connect Monocacy Boulevard on the east side of US-15 to Christophers Crossing on the west side of US-15, ultimately providing a ring road around the east and north side of the City from I-70 to US-15 and westward.

Trails, sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting, landscaping, and a 300+ ‘Park and Ride’ lot will also be installed as part of the current interchange project.

Over 90% of the project's funding was contributed by the State and Federal Government. 

"The interchange project provides a much needed connection on the North side of the City. We anticipate the improvements will help relieve traffic in that area." Director of Engineering, Tracy Coleman
 

Frederick Wastewater Treatment Plant 

Significant Project Dates: mid-2018, anticipated project completion

Work began approximately two years ago to upgrade Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) at the Frederick Wastewater Treatment Plant off Gas House Pike. The significant undertaking will bring the plant into compliance with increased EPA mandates for ENR and improve water quality by reducing nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The project at the Frederick Wastewater Treatment Plant off Gas House Pike is the single largest project that the City has ever undertaken. Approximately 40% of the project was funded by state grants, with the remainder drawing from a low-interest State Revolving Fund loan.

"Certainly the project was motivated by a need to meet new nation-wide standards, but we’ll also see positive benefits on our local environment. With upgraded processing reducing the volatility of City waste, we’ll be creating composting materials and will diminish the role of the landfill as a waste management solution." Deputy Director of Public Works-Operations, Marc Stachowski
 

Monocacy Boulevard 

Significant Project Dates: October 14 - 2017 - June 2019, anticipated partial road closure of Monocacy Boulevard 

Planned for a decade, this major arterial road project will improve traffic circulation and alleviate local congestion on the U.S. highway and interstate system. The new road and bridge will accommodate four lanes of traffic, taking a straighter, safer path connecting I-70, Frederick’s downtown, and northeast side. The resulting road will allow improved transit access between the job center at Riverside to Downtown and places beyond. The first phase of the project connected Hughes Ford Road to Schifferstadt Boulevard.

This fall, construction work will enter Phase II -necessitating road closure. During this period, the entire existing roadway between Schifferstadt Boulevard and Gashouse Pike will be demolished, raised, and widened. The existing bridge across the Monocacy River will be rehabilitated and a new parallel two-lane bridge will be constructed. A retaining wall along Carroll Creek and all associated infrastructure-- including water lines, storm-water management, culverts, street lights, and a new traffic signal at Monocacy Boulevard and Gashouse Pike --will also be installed. The contractor estimates closure will begin on October 14, 2017 and the road will reopen when completed in June 2019.

 

Frederick High School

Significant Project Dates: Fall 2017 - School Opened to Students

This fall, Frederick High students returned to a newly constructed school. The oldest school in the county, the previous FHS opened in 1939 and received its last major renovation forty years ago. Construction of the new facility was prompted by safety concerns for the deteriorating building. 

The replacement school sits directly behind the original. Designed and constructed in two years, the new building has a capacity of over 1,800 students. The 270,000-square foot floor plan includes a 12,000-square foot gymnasium and 853-seat auditorium. The facility is now energy efficient, meeting LEED silver certification requirements.  

Although students are attending class in the new building, the entire project is not yet complete. Remaining work includes the deconstruction of the previous building and creation of a new parking area.

Funding and management of the $114 million project was led by the FCPS, Frederick County and the State. 

 

Carroll Creek Phase Two

Significant Project Dates: May 19, 2016 - Grand Opening of Phase 2

The second section of Frederick’s iconic Carroll Creek project was completed mid-last year. Jointly funded by the City, County, State, and private investments, this phase of the Creek project totaled approximately $15.7 million in construction.

The recent work extended the existing linear park and shared use path east from South Carroll Street, past the MARC station, McCutcheon’s Apple Products, and Union Knitting Mills, to connect the path to East Patrick Street. The pathway improvements – including brick sidewalks, fountains, lighting, landscaping, benches, and a foot bridge – are designed to draw foot traffic to the rapidly developing east side of Frederick. More than $100 million in new and renovated private construction is planned along the phase two section –which will eventually result in hundreds of new jobs and increased state and local tax revenue. 

The opportunity to attract new private capital, businesses, jobs, and housing to Frederick's east side is unparalleled. These public improvements are critical to bring that plan to fruition." Director of Economic Development, Richard Griffin  

North End Water Tower

Significant Project Dates: August 11, 2017, Service Start Date

Located on Frederick’s northern boundary, the new $4.86 million water tower will help satisfy the utility needs of new development, as required by the City’s Water Master Plan. With a million gallon capacity, the new tower has increased the City of Frederick’s total daily storage to 7.75 million gallons. All residents will be served by this tank, as all of the City's seven tanks work in conjunction with each other to help maintain the system’s day-to-day pressures and flows.

“This tank will create more system storage to assist with daily consumption and additional fire storage. It should also assist with helping to equalize system pressures. Pressures may increase a few pounds in the Northern section of the City.” Assistant Deputy Director of Operations, Keith Brown 

 

Culler Lake

Significant Project Dates: October 18th, 2016, Re-dedication and Opening of Culler Lake 

Although enjoyed as a recreation destination, Culler Lake functions foremost as a storm water management system for the City. A recent joint effort of The Friends of Baker Park, individual contributors, local, county and state agencies- focused heavily on improving this utility. Silt was removed and new mechanical & biological systems were put into place to improve water quality. These upgrades will positively impact outflows into Carroll Creek and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Park goers can now also enjoy the scenic views of the reconstructed fountain and the improved pedestrian pathways, which include bridges over two aquatic wetlands.

A second project phase is in the planning stage to provide recreational opportunities, enhance the aesthetic character and develop educational signage within the Culler Lake area.

 

Traffic Light on North Market 

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Significant Project Dates: August 4, 2017 - Light became operational 

A new traffic light was installed at the intersection of North Market Street and Wormans Mill Court. The light will improve traffic operations at this intersection and provide for additional pedestrian and vehicle traffic anticipated with the relocation of the Department of Social Services. 

Shared Use Path

Significant Project Dates: October 4, 2016 - Shared Use Path Connection Opened

Open late last year, the trail’s underpass addition now connects the west and east sides of the City. The trail improvement allows bicycles and pedestrians to safely travel to and from the Golden Mile, Rock Creek Trail, Waterford Park, Baker Park, Carroll Creek and downtown Frederick. The $1.7 million project was funded primarily by the City, and in part by the Bikeways Program of the Maryland Department of Transportation. The investment represents a commitment to alternative transportation options in and around the City. The site is accessible by foot from the path on Rosemont Avenue.

In a next phase of trail improvements, signage will be installed along the path as an added convenience to help users locate their destinations. 

“It changed everything for us to be able to get from Downtown to the Golden Mile without having to be on busy city streets.” City Transportation Planner, Tim Davis

Route 26  

Significant Project Dates: 2018 - Anticipated Completion

Several concurrent roadway improvement projects are underway along Route 26. In accordance with terms of approval for the site’s development, Walmart is funding a major portion of the work along the road. Developer-funded improvements include: the widening of Rt. 26 from the intersection of North Market to Kingfisher Drive, the addition of storm-water management along the road’s median, and the widening of the northern leg of the intersection of Monocacy and Rt. 26.

The State Highway Administration is also working independently to repave the road between 194 and Wormans Mill, as well as to widen the US-15 Bridge that runs over Rt. 26. 

 

MD 180/351 Corridor Improvements 

Significant Project Dates: Summer 2017- Major RoadWork Completed

The City of Frederick is partnering with the State Highway Administration, Frederick County, and AstraZeneca to improve the MD 180/351 Corridor. The $40 million investment will break the bottleneck along Ballenger Creek Pike (MD 180) from south of I-70 to north of US-15 and will address longstanding traffic problems on MD 180. The scope of work includes road widening along MD 180 and Solarex Court near AstraZeneca and the construction of a new bridge over US-15. Improvements will provide Maryland residents and employees of AstraZeneca, one of Frederick's major employers, with improved safety and traffic relief along this route. 

 

 

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Special thanks to the team that allowed us to see these projects from a new perspective: Pilot Ted Gregory, Photographer Andrew Murdock of Natural Artistry, and aircraft owner Scott Ackland.