An often used commuter route between Harford County and Baltimore and other points south and west will have a major construction project for several months, when the State Highway Administration begins constructing a roundabout next week at Route 147 (Harford Road) and Mt. Vista Road and Glen Arm roads in Baltimore County.
Work is slated to begin Wednesday, Oct. 5, on the $3.7 million project, the SHA said in a news release. Weather permitting, the roundabout is expected to be completed by late summer 2017.
"Commuters and commercial vehicle drivers should plan for extra travel time on Harford Road and the detour routes during the next year," according to the news release.
Although Harford Road is expected to be open throughout the construction, there will be flagging operations and lane closures for motorists traveling on that route, and thus there could be some delays during off-peak hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., SHA spokesperson Charlie Gischlar said Monday.
According to the SHA, approximately 6,000 vehicles use this section of Harford Road each day.
"Harford Road is obviously used by a lot of folks in Harford County, but other than some flagging during off-peak hours, it really shouldn't be a major deal," Gischlar said. "Later on there could be some lane closures, but again it will be at off-peak hours."
The purpose of the project is to reduce congestion and enhance safety at the intersection, by reducing the number of conflict points at the intersection and slowing traffic as it approaches the intersection, the SHA said.
The roundabout will be constructed in three phases, with each phase requiring a long-term detour of either the Mt. Vista Road or Glen Arm Road legs of the intersection.
During the evening peak rush hour, Glen Arm Road and Mt. Vista Road will experience long queues and delays, according to the news release.
On October 5, weather permitting, SHA will close the Mt. Vista Road leg of the intersection to begin the first of three phases of the roundabout construction.
SHA's contractor, Kinsley Construction, Inc. of Timonium, will use portable digital message signs in the vicinity of the intersection to alert motorists of the upcoming closure of Mt. Vista Road at Harford Road.
Although Harford Road will be open during construction, motorists traveling on Harford Road within the Glen Arm, Kingsville, Long Green, and Fork communities should expect the following driving conditions during the roundabout construction:
• A closure and detour of either the Mt. Vista Road or Glen Arm Road legs of the four-way intersection, beginning Oct. 5;
• Phase 1: Mt. Vista Road closed at Harford Road (5 – 7 months); Detour Route: Sunshine Avenue and Belair Road;
• Phase 2: Glen Arm Road closed at Harford Road (2 - 3 months), Detour Route: Long Green Pike and Fork Road.
• Phase 3: Mt. Vista Road closed at Harford Road (3 - 4 weeks), Detour Route: Sunshine Avenue and Belair Road;
• Temporary daytime lane closures on Harford Road in the vicinity of the Glen Arm Road/Mt. Vista Road intersection (9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday); and temporary flagging operations controlling two-way traffic on Harford Road (9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday).
Maryland drivers can also know before they go by calling 511 or visiting www.md511.org for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures.
"Harford Road is a popular route for drivers traveling between Harford County and Baltimore County; Glen Arm Road and Mt. Vista Road are key connectors to rural communities," said Acting SHA District Engineer Wendy Wolcott said in a statement. "Construction of the roundabout will improve safety for everyone traveling through this intersection. SHA appreciates everyone's patience and caution during construction work and detours during the next year."