The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration announced it has completed major construction on the new roundabout at the intersection of Route 147 (Harford Road) and Mount Vista and Glen Arm roads in the Fork area of Baltimore County.
Both Glen Arm and Mt. Vista roads are open at the new roundabout, which is along a major commuter route for Harford County residents who work in the Towson area and in Baltimore City.
Crews will return in the spring when temperatures are warmer to complete final paving, which will take approximately one week, according to the SHA’s announcement.
The roundabout will significantly improve safety by slowing travel speeds and reducing potential left turn crashes at the intersection, as well as improve traffic flow by providing a continuous flow of traffic, according to the SHA.
The $3.7 million roundabout project, which began in fall 2016, necessitated temporary phased closures and detours of Mt. Vista Road and Glen Arm roads throughout the duration of the project. It also involved considerable grading around the intersection.
Harford Road, which the SHA said has an average daily traffic volume of 6,000 vehicles, was not closed during construction and for the most part, the Harford Road traffic flowed through the construction area without delays.
The Mt. Vista Road connection was the final phase of the roundabout to be completed, and it opened to traffic on Dec. 21, according to SHA.
“It may take a little bit for neighbors to get used to it, but this should slow down speeds; we we’re having a heck of a time with speeding and a lot of near misses,” SHA spokesperson Charlie Gishlar said.
“The only time motorists will have to use the circle is when they go straight through on Harford,” he said.
Gischlar pointed out there are free right movements onto Mt. Vista for motorists traveling north on Harford and onto Glen Arm for motorists traveling south on Harford “to help keep everyone moving through there and not sitting at idle.”
SHA has built dozens of roundabouts at intersections across Maryland over the last 25 years, with the goal of eliminating intersection-related fatal crashes, the agency said in a news release.
Since SHA started constructing roundabouts in 1994, there have been zero intersection-related fatalities, the agency said.
Kinsey Construction was the contractor on the Harford Road roundabout project.