Maryland is adding speed camera enforcement to another highway work zone in the D.C. region.
The State Highway Administration announced today that the work zone on Interstate 270 at Route 80 (Fingerboard Road) is a speed camera zone. That’s south of Frederick, and about 25 miles from where I-270 meets the Capital Beltway.
The highway administration said the camera zone has been created in advance of a traffic shift that will move northbound I-270 onto a temporary bridge in the median. The shift is scheduled for late August. Once it’s complete, workers will begin to demolish the old bridge deck.
The cameras are active now, the highway administration said, but speeding drivers will receive warning notices rather than fines through Aug. 22. After that, the owners of vehicles photographed exceeding the work zone’s 55 mph speed limit by at least 12 mph will receive $40 citations.
Maryland uses mobile cameras for the work zone safety program. They may not always be there, but they could be. Drivers in the D.C. area are most familiar with the camera operations in the Intercounty Connector work zone on I-95.
From November 2009 through June 2011, state statistics show, that location was responsible for 17,911 citations. That’s far from the highest total. The cameras in the express toll lane work zone north of Baltimore are responsible for more than 282,000 citations.
But it’s amazing nonetheless considering that the work zone is really obvious, there are numerous warning signs including the digital display of “Your Speed” before the camera area and the speed limit through the work zone is the regular highway limit of 65 mph. To get a citation, drivers must be going at least 77 mph through an area of sometimes rough pavement where the lanes shift and narrow and the shoulders disappear beside concrete barriers.
On Monday, the first mobile camera on the Capital Beltway started taking pictures for warning notices. (Same schedule as the I-270 camera.) That’s in the work zone for the rehabilitation project on the Northwest Branch bridge between University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue. The highway administration said it also will be using cameras during the Beltway repaving project between the D’Arcy Road bridge and Branch Avenue (Route 5).