Maryland Route 68
Maryland Route 68 highlighted in red
|Maintained by MDSHA and Town of Williamsport|
|Length:||18.50 mi (29.77 km)|
|Existed:||1927 – present|
| Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Scenic Byway
Historic National Road Scenic Byway
|West end:||US 40 in Clear Spring|
|MD 65 at Lappans|
US 40 Alt. in Boonsboro
Maryland Route 68 (MD 68) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The state highway runs 18.50 miles (29.77 km) from U.S. Route 40 (US 40) in Clear Spring east to US 40 Alternate in Boonsboro. MD 68 crosses central Washington County to the south of Hagerstown, connecting Clear Spring and Boonsboro with Williamsport, where the highway runs concurrently with MD 63. A small segment of MD 68 west of Boonsboro was constructed around 1920, using as part of the route two early 19th-century stone bridges. The remainder of the highway between Boonsboro and Williamsport was constructed in the second half of the 1920s. MD 68 was extended west from Williamsport to Clear Spring in the mid-1950s. The state highway was relocated south of Williamsport for the construction of Interstate 81 (I-81) in the mid-1960s. Since the early 1990s, I-68 has also existed in Washington County; signs on I-70 aim to avoid confusion between I-68 and MD 68.
MD 68 begins at an intersection with US 40 (Cumberland Street) in the town of Clear Spring. The state highway heads south as Mill Street through a commercial area. MD 68's name changes to Clear Spring Road after leaving the town limits. The state highway meets I-70 (Eisenhower Memorial Highway) at a diamond interchange, then heads southeast through farmland, where the highway crosses Little Conococheague Creek. MD 68 intersects the eastern end of MD 56 (Big Pool Road) shortly before passing through the village of Pinesburg. The state highway intersects CSX's Lurgan Subdivision rail line and passes between industrial properties, then crosses Conococheague Creek and enters the town of Williamsport. MD 68 is municipally maintained within the town, where the highway follows Conococheague Street south through an intersection with US 11 (Potomac Street). At this intersection, MD 63 joins MD 68 in a concurrency to continue through the Williamsport Historic District. The two highways leave the town limits at their diamond interchange with I-81 (Maryland Veterans Memorial Highway), through which the roadway temporarily expands to a four-lane divided highway.
MD 68's name changes to Lappans Road south of Williamsport. MD 63 (Spielman Road) splits south from MD 68 at the same intersection as Governor Lane Boulevard, which serves an industrial park. MD 68 crosses over the Winchester and Western Railroad and curves to the east, then resumes heading southeast after intersecting the eastern end of Kendle Road. The state highway heads southeast through farmland and intersects MD 632 (Downsville Pike). The road intersects Norfolk Southern Railway's Hagerstown District at-grade and crosses St. James Run in the hamlet of St. James. MD 68 intersects MD 65 (Sharpsburg Pike) in the hamlet of Lappans, where the highway passes St. Mark's Episcopal Church. The state highway passes through the hamlet of Brethedsville and passes Devils Backbone County Park as the highway follows Antietam Creek for a short distance. MD 68 crosses over the creek on a narrow stone bridge, then makes a sharp turn to the south to continue following the forested valley of the creek. The state highway crosses over Beaver Creek on a one-lane stone bridge before leaving the creek valley. MD 68 continues southeast through farmland and the hamlet of Millpoint before reaching its eastern terminus at US 40 Alternate (Main Street) on the northern edge of the town of Boonsboro.
The first section of MD 68, from Lappans to Millpoint near Boonsboro, was constructed in 1920. This segment made use of a pair of stone arch bridges over Antietam Creek and Beaver Creek constructed in 1833 and 1824, respectively. These bridges remain open to traffic as part of MD 68. MD 68 was extended east from Millpoint to Boonsboro in 1925. Construction of MD 68 from Williamsport to Lappans began in 1926, with a section complete from Williamsport to the Cumberland Valley Railroad (now Winchester and Western Railroad) by 1927. The last section of the Williamsport–Lappans Road was completed in 1930. The state highway's western terminus was originally US 11 in Williamsport, within which MD 68 followed Artizan Street south to Sunset Avenue at the southern town limit. Artizan Street continued south as MD 63 and MD 68 followed Sunset Avenue southeast toward Lappans. Clear Spring Road remained a county highway until MD 68 was extended west to Clear Spring in 1956.
MD 68 was relocated south of Williamsport, replacing Sunset Avenue and what is now Kendle Road, in 1965. The state highway was relocated for a grade separation of the Cumberland Valley Railroad and to tie into an interchange with I-81 and the south end of Conococheague Street. MD 63 joined MD 68 in a concurrency along Conococheague Street north to US 11. The new alignment of MD 68 and MD 63 was built as a four-lane divided highway around the interchange with I-81, which originally only contained ramps to and from the direction of West Virginia when the interchange opened with the completion of I-81 in 1966. That interchange was completed with ramps to and from Hagerstown between 1981 and 1989. Since the completion of I-68 in 1991, the Interstate and state-numbered highways with the same number have co-existed separated by 17 miles (27 km) on I-70. Multiple signs on westbound I-70 in advance of the Interstate's interchange with MD 68 advise motorists that I-68 and MD 68 are not the same highway and remind them to remain on I-70 to access I-68.
The entire route is in Washington County.
|Clear Spring||0.00||0.00||US 40 (Cumberland Street) / Mill Street north – Huyett, Indian Springs||Western terminus|
|0.47||0.76||I-70 (Eisenhower Memorial Highway) – Hagerstown, Hancock||I-70 Exit 18|
|Pinesburg||2.74||4.41||MD 56 west (Big Pool Road) – Big Pool|
|Williamsport||7.31||11.76||US 11 / MD 63 north (Potomac Street) – Hagerstown, Huyett, Martinsburg||West end of concurrency with MD 63|
|8.29||13.34||I-81 (Maryland Veterans Memorial Highway) – Harrisburg, Roanoke||I-81 Exit 1|
|8.52||13.71||MD 63 south (Spielman Road) – Downsville||East end of concurrency with MD 63|
|St. James||10.48||16.87||MD 632 (Downsville Pike) – Downsville, Hagerstown|
|Lappans||13.35||21.48||MD 65 (Sharpsburg Pike) – Sharpsburg, Hagerstown|
US 40 Alt. (Main Street) – Funkstown, Middletown
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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- 10 km SW of Hagerstown, Maryland, United States (Map). Topo Map. United States Geological Survey. 1981-07-01. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
- 10 km SW of Hagerstown, Maryland, United States (Map). Aerial Map. United States Geological Survey. 1989-05-28. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (1991). Maryland: Official Highway Map (Map). Baltimore: Maryland State Highway Administration.
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