The developer of a casino scheduled to open next month at Arundel Mills will temporarily restrict southbound access to the mall beginning next week during road construction to prepare for an expected traffic increase.
Work on the $5 million in traffic and road upgrades began Tuesday, officials from the Baltimore-based Cordish Cos. announced. The centerpiece of the plan is a new interchange at the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Arundel Mills Boulevard in Hanover.
The $500 million Maryland! Live Casino at Arundel Mills, which is being developed by Cordish, is scheduled to open June 6 with 3,200 slot machines. The new "diverging diamond interchange," which will replace a traffic circle with travel lanes controlled by stoplights, is the first of its kind in the state, officials said.
Joe Weinberg, a managing partner and president for gaming at Cordish, said the new interchange will "function more safely and efficiently."
Beginning Monday, motorists traveling on Route 295 South toward Washington en route to the mall will be diverted to Route 175. The onramp to 295 South from the area around the mall will be closed, and motorists will be diverted northbound to Route 100, from which they can access southbound lanes.
The closures are scheduled to be in place until about June 2, officials said, a timetable that will enable the project to be completed quickly. Traffic entering and exiting the mall area from 295 North will maintain the same traffic patterns during the construction, officials said.
Cordish plans to add signs and turn lanes and widen roads as part of the traffic improvements in the mall area.
Lee Starkloff, a district engineer for the State Highway Administration, called the new interchange "innovative" but said there may be a learning curve for motorists as they navigate the new system for the first time.
Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold, a Republican who supports the casino project, called the new traffic system an "exciting development" and said it was "impressive" that Cordish had "stepped up" to realize the project.