A massive state effort to expand I-95 in Baltimore and Harford counties and add toll lanes, which appeared to be on hold for several years because of the recession, could be cranking up again, to the concern of Joppa area residents who would be in the midst of the project area, known as Section 200.
Potential new developments about I-95 were discussed briefly during the monthly meeting of the Joppa-Joppatowne Community Council Monday night at the Sheriff's Office Southern Precinct station.
Vincent Rabenau, a member of the community council, informed residents in attendance Monday he had learned through officials with Trinity Lutheran Church of Joppa, just north of the interchange of Route 152 and I-95, that Maryland Transportation Authority representatives had made inquiries about acquiring some of the church's property for a park-and-ride lot.
The Maryland Transportation Authority had begun meeting with federal, state and local officials, and later residents, in 2005, as it began the lengthy planning and permitting process, with the goal of adding four express toll lanes – two northbound and two southbound – in sections of I-95. The express toll lanes would be in addition to the four existing general purpose lanes in each direction between Route 24 in Abingdon and the split of I-695 and I-895 on the east side of Baltimore City.
Rabenau was part of a committee that worked with the MdTA through 2007. Section 200 covers the section of I-95 between Route 43 in White Marsh and Route 22 in the Aberdeen area.
"When it comes into our neighborhood we want it done in such a way that it limits the impact to the residents and the environment," Rabenau said.
MdTA is nearing completion of the first toll lanes in Section 100 between the I-695 and I-895 split and the Bradshaw Road overpass just north of Route 43 in Baltimore County, about eight miles total, according to the agency's I-95 Master Plan. Completion of the Section 100 improvements is expected in 2014.
Community council member Ron Sollod was also part of a local committee, and has kept up with project developments, noting the project has been on hold because of a lack of funding since the economy crashed in 2008.
Sollod cautioned the Section 200 project has a projected completion date of 2035. He said state officials are currently conducting environmental assessments with the Army Corps of Engineers and are looking for funding.
"I personally don't think it's going to affect us here any time soon," he said.
More information on Section 200 can be found online at http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/I95section200/home.html.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun