Sixteen Aberdeen homeowners will lose their houses, and about 60 more could lose part of their properties, as the State Highway Administration moves forward with plans to widen parts of Route 22 between I-95 and Route 40.
State officials confirmed at a public meeting Wednesday they plan to buy 16 properties on Route 22 around the Paradise Road intersection for the major, BRAC-related intersection improvement project.
Other details for the project, which is estimated to cost $7 million to $10 million per intersection, are yet to be finalized.
The SHA is working on designs to add a third through-lane to both sides of Route 22, add a left-turn lane from Route 22 onto Beards Hill Road and widen parts of Beards Hill, Paradise and Old Post roads.
Besides the 16 houses to be destroyed, about 59 properties would be affected if the SHA were to purchase rights-of-way along Route 22.
A noise-barrier wall is also proposed just east of the Paradise Road intersection.
The project has not been funded yet and is set to start construction in the spring of 2015, to be open for traffic by spring of 2017.
Several residents who stand to lose their homes attended the public meeting Wednesday at Aberdeen High School, joining many others from surrounding neighborhoods.
Karen and Ewan Pinnock were notified a year ago they might have to give up their house at Roberts Way, where they have lived for nine years. About a week ago, they got a letter saying it was certain.
"I'm upset," Karen Pinnock said, visibly emotional about her prospects. "I don't have an idea of what we are going to do."
She did not know if she and Ewan would stay in Aberdeen, but said she refused to start looking until they get a concrete offer from the state.
"I really like the area. I didn't think I was going to relocate," she said, acknowledging the traffic is a problem on their street.
"I must say that it's been quite dangerous," she said. "If they didn't do anything, it would be the best, but I understand they have to because of the traffic."
Beth and Claude Lapointe, who also got a letter dated June 14, have lived on Roberts Way since 1971.
"We were going to die in that house," Claude Lapointe said, explaining grimly he had just done extensive renovations to the home.
Now he is considering moving farther west.
"Under no circumstances would we stay in Maryland," he said. "I think this is a horrible situation."
Claude Lapointe does not think the project is a good way to relieve traffic, and said he has been unable to reach government officials to talk about it after he submitted a comment sheet at a previous public meeting.
"They are unanimous that this will not solve the traffic problem," he said. "It's going to create a traffic hazard. You have got schoolkids crossing that highway."