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Author Topic: Hancock Bypass  (Read 2047 times)

TheOneKEA

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Hancock Bypass
« on: November 12, 2016, 10:05:28 PM »

Are there any online resources that show the original termini of the Hancock Bypass in Washington County, MD? I'm interested to know where exactly the original divided highway ended east of the town and which direction of travel was built on top of the original US 40 carriage way past Exit 3. West of Hancock, it's apparent from the topography that the diamond interchange was built on top of a straight alignment linking the divided highway with the two and three lane US 40 that went up the eastern side of Sideling Hill, but I would like to know how far west the divided highway went before it merged back into a single roadway.

Also, are both directional-T interchanges at Exit 1 original to the Bypass? If so, was the connecting segment of US 522 and the lengthy Potomac River bridge built under the same construction project as the rest of the Bypass or was it built later?
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froggie

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2016, 09:42:46 AM »

East of Hancock:  First thing to note is that the segment in the vicinity of Exit 5 was built before the Hancock bypass.  The National Bridge Inventory (NBI) shows the bridges at both parts of the elongated Exit 5 were built in 1960.  MD state maps from 1963 and 1964 suggest the endpoints of this completed segment were just east of Exit 3 and at "Millstone", which is just east of the eastern Exit 5.

To the east of Exit 5, the 1965 state map shows I-70 completed to MD 56/Exit 12 and under construction east of MD 56.  This is verified by NBI bridge completion dates of 1964 and 1965 along this segment.

Comparing 1947 aerial imagery with modern imagery suggests that the current eastbound lanes were built on top of the old US 40 carriageway between Exit 3 and the western Exit 5.

Hancock bypass:  NBI shows bypass bridges, including Exit 1 bridges, were built in 1965.  This shows that the directional-T's at Exit 1 are indeed original to the bypass.

West of Hancock:  NBI shows that the bridges east of Exit 77 to I-70 were also built in 1965, so the alignment of this segment coincides with bypass construction.  Where the 4-lane ended, however, is murky...there's no aerial imagery of the area between the late '40s and the late '80s, and the state highway maps aren't detailed enough.  USGS topographic maps from the '70s and early '80s suggest the 4-lane ended just west of today's Exit 77 along the old National Pike, probably around here given where the tree clearing extends.

The Exit 77 interchange wasn't built until later, when the Sideling Hill segment was built.  NBI shows the overpass was built in 1988.

US 522:  Per NBI, both US 522 bridges (over the Potomac and over old US 40/current MD 144) were built in 1937.  So to answer your last question, US 522 across the river and through Hancock was built BEFORE the bypass.  Prior to the bypass, US 522 continued north along Warfordsburg Rd (which was cut off by interchange construction).  1947 aerial imagery suggests that old US 522 may have also used part of Limestone Rd...the western frontage road just south of Exit 1.
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TheOneKEA

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 02:11:32 PM »

Thanks for the detailed response! It never occurred to me to check the NBI to learn about the age and date of the Bypass and when the various segments were built.

I'm especially intrigued by the info about the existence of the divided carriageway east of Exit 3 and the dating of the bridges on that segment. Someday I'd like to find out if that segment was always intended to be part of I-70 or if it was first part of an older project, similar to the Frederick Freeway.
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NE2

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2016, 02:47:48 PM »

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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2016, 08:32:39 PM »

West of Hancock:  NBI shows that the bridges east of Exit 77 to I-70 were also built in 1965, so the alignment of this segment coincides with bypass construction.  Where the 4-lane ended, however, is murky...there's no aerial imagery of the area between the late '40s and the late '80s, and the state highway maps aren't detailed enough.  USGS topographic maps from the '70s and early '80s suggest the 4-lane ended just west of today's Exit 77 along the old National Pike, probably around here given where the tree clearing extends.

The Exit 77 interchange wasn't built until later, when the Sideling Hill segment was built.  NBI shows the overpass was built in 1988.

Before ADHS Corridor E was built, the freeway segment of U.S. 40 came to an end roughly where  I-68 Exit 77 stands today.  There's turnaround on National Pike here (presumably for winter maintenance) were U.S. 40 once ran headed west and up the  steep ascent of Sidling Hill.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2016, 04:52:57 PM »

To the east of Exit 5, the 1965 state map shows I-70 completed to MD 56/Exit 12 and under construction east of MD 56.  This is verified by NBI bridge completion dates of 1964 and 1965 along this segment.

This is correct.  Strange as it sounds, but the first section of I-70 in Maryland to open to traffic (if the non-Interstate Frederick Bypass is excluded) was from the  Pennsylvania border to Hagerstown.  Seems to me that the sections to the east had greater transportation value, yet most of I-70 between Frederick and Baltimore opened fairly late (as a conversion from the old arterial U.S. 40 to present-day I-70/U.S. 40, in the mid-1970's (between Ijamsville at Exit 59 and the former west end of I-70N at present-day at Exit 82).  The 3 mile section of I-70 between the east end of the Frederick Bypass and present-day Exit 82 did not open until the late 1980's. 
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Mapmikey

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2016, 05:51:09 PM »

The 1973 and 1977 Washington County maps show the Hancock area in much better detail with respect to how the west end of the bypass was configured:

http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagser/s1800/s1891/000000/000095/pdf/msa_s1891_000095.pdf

http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagser/s1800/s1891/000000/000094/pdf/msa_s1891_000094.pdf

EDIT: changed 1st link to 1973 Washington Co...
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 09:14:26 PM by Mapmikey »
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froggie

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Re: Hancock Bypass
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2016, 08:18:03 PM »

First link is Allegheny County, not Washington.  Second link basically confirms what I said upthread about where it tied back into National Pike.
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