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Author Topic: US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?  (Read 427 times)

M3100

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US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?
« on: June 12, 2020, 09:56:10 PM »

Several years ago, while driving US 15 north through Frederick, Md, there was no "easy, direct" way to get through town.  One had to merge onto a couple of freeways to continue north on 15. 

Why is that - did traffic patterns change significantly after the interstates arrived that people no longer used US routes as direct routes?  At least they retained teh US 15 route designation.

Thx
(I searched for similar posts on this topic but found no obvious ones).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2020, 10:09:24 PM »

Several years ago, while driving US 15 north through Frederick, Md, there was no "easy, direct" way to get through town.  One had to merge onto a couple of freeways to continue north on 15. 

Why is that - did traffic patterns change significantly after the interstates arrived that people no longer used US routes as direct routes?  At least they retained teh US 15 route designation.

Thx
(I searched for similar posts on this topic but found no obvious ones).

U.S. 15, many years ago, ran through the middle of Frederick.  Then it was rerouted onto the Frederick Bypass, the southern, east-west oriented part was U.S. 40 (I-70 and U.S. 40 now), and for the most part, the north-south part of the bypass west of downtown was U.S. 15 (there has always been a short multiplex of the two (15 and 40) as long as the bypass has existed).  The explicit purpose of the bypass was to divert traffic out of the downtown area, and it did that. Before, U.S. 15 followed Market Street through the city, as far north as Worman's Mill Road (now a dead-end north of present-day MD-26), where U.S. 15 made a left and MD-26 continued straight ahead toward Libertytown and ultimately Baltimore.  Worman's Mill ultimately became the two-lane arterial Catoctin Mountain Highway, which follows to some extent the current four-lane divided U.S. 15 north towards Thurmont, Emmitsburg and on into Pennsylvania.

U.S. 15 south of Frederick used to follow what is now MD-85 (Buckeystown Pike), it was moved to the curent alignment about 1970.  At the current southern terminus of MD-85, U.S. 15 southbound made a sharp turn to the west and followed what is now MD-28 through Point-of-Rocks, where it turned left onto the bridge over the Potomac toward Loudoun County, Virginia.

The first Interstate to connect to the Frederick Bypass was U.S. 240 later I-70S  and I-270 now, which arrived in Frederick before 1960.   Then came I-70 west of Frederick and onto the bypass that it shared with U.S. 40, but for many years there was no I-70 east of the city, that part only getting constructed in the late 1980's, the last part of I-70 in Maryland to be built. 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 11:03:02 PM by cpzilliacus »
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M3100

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Re: US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2020, 10:44:57 PM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus

U.S. 15 south of Frederick used to follow what is now MD-85 (Buckeystown Pike), it was moved to the current alignment about 1970.

Great - thanks very much.  I have a small 1958 road atlas that shows that route - I had not thought to check there.  So the section of US 15 north from Point of Rocks to the US 340 junction is "newer" - actually I noticed that while driving it (gradual sweeping curves, not narrow sharp turns).  That 15-340 'wye' is of more modern construction than the road near the through truss bridge over the Potomac.

I must have driven what was the original US 15 through town - Market St. (MD 355) - which even had a segment of old PRR/PC rail in it, that survived after the '72 tropical storm Agnes.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2020, 10:55:42 PM »

Quote from: cpzilliacus

U.S. 15 south of Frederick used to follow what is now MD-85 (Buckeystown Pike), it was moved to the current alignment about 1970.

Great - thanks very much.  I have a small 1958 road atlas that shows that route - I had not thought to check there.  So the section of US 15 north from Point of Rocks to the US 340 junction is "newer" - actually I noticed that while driving it (gradual sweeping curves, not narrow sharp turns).  That 15-340 'wye' is of more modern construction than the road near the through truss bridge over the Potomac.

I must have driven what was the original US 15 through town - Market St. (MD 355) - which even had a segment of old PRR/PC rail in it, that survived after the '72 tropical storm Agnes.

The old route of U.S. 15 followed present-day MD-85 to the southern terminus of 85 at Tuscarora.  Then U.S. 15 made a sharp turn to the west onto present-day MD-28 and headed for Point-of-Rocks, where it made a turn south and onto the bridge over the Potomac River.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: US 15 through Frederick, MD - why the indirect route?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 02:37:59 PM »

« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 02:41:09 PM by jmacswimmer »
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