When the Maryland Department of Transportation opened the first part of the Intercounty Connector in February, there still was plenty left to do — even around the open part. Workers this week are scheduled to fix one of the undone features on the eastern side of the connector at Norbeck Road.
At that point, Norbeck Road traffic has been traveling over temporary pavement. On Wednesday night, the Maryland State Highway Administration is scheduled to open the permanent Norbeck Road Bridge over the connector. This should make the ride in that area smoother.
The preparation for the traffic shift includes work Tuesday night. From 8 p.m. till 5 a.m., the eastbound lane of Norbeck Road will be closed. There will still be two-way traffic, but it will be controlled by a flagger.
Then on Wednesday night, also from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., the setup work is scheduled to be completed. During those hours, the left-turn lane on northbound Wintergate Drive will be closed, but left turns will be allowed from the right lane on Wintergate Drive onto Norbeck Road.
The left-turn lane from the eastbound Intercounty Connector onto Norbeck Road will be closed, but left turns will be permitted from the right lane on the ramp to Norbeck Road.
During this activity, workers will be installing pavement markings along Norbeck Road. Drivers should expect delays while the traffic pattern is being changed.
If we get thunderstorms, the traffic shift could be postponed till Thursday night.
Meanwhile, work continues on the unopened portion of the toll highway. The portion that extends from Norbeck Road to just west of Route 29 is about 80 percent done. That stretch, along with the next one, from just west of Route 29 to just east of I-95, is scheduled to open later this year or in early 2012.
When it does, the Norbeck Road entrance/exit for the connector will close. That’s a temporary accommodation to ease traffic flow in the area, though at present, the connector is not heavily used.