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Route 24/924 junction in Abingdon still getting some complaints

The new Route 24/924 junction near the I-95 interchange in Abingdon is regarded as largely successful, but some traffic issues still need to be tweaked, John Vananzo, a transportation engineer with State Highway Administration, told the Abingdon Community Council at its monthly meeting Monday.

Vananzo said the SHA is still determining which pavement work, signs and markings may be too confusing for motorists, but he said he is generally only made aware of any accidents if they are fatal.

Community council leader Cynthia Hergenhahn said there should be more reflectors at a concrete barrier on Route 924 at the new underpass, and Vananzo said that is a possibility.

"We are looking at putting some type of reflector in there," he said.

Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie, who was at the meeting at the Abingdon Library along with Councilman Joe Woods, said the elimination of traffic backups from I-95 is the only real improvement from the new interchange, and it does not solve anything for motorists traveling on Route 24.

"The rest of the traffic is terrible there," Guthrie said.

Vananzo said the primary goal of reducing a two-mile-long line approaching I-95 has been eliminated.

This year during the holidays, he added, "we didn't receive one complaint regarding that intersection."

"We've eliminated a lot of traffic there," he said. "The biggest problem is, people in Harford County are not used to what we put out there."

That confusion comes from unusual features like double-turning right lanes and double-turning left lanes, Vananzo said. The new intersection arrangement and overpass carrying Route 24 over Route 924 was completed in early October.

"Now people are telling me they are starting to use 24 again. It's because they don't have that huge delay at the light," Vananzo said.

Vananzo encouraged people to continue letting him know of any problems or concerns with the interchange.

"This is new to us, too, because it's a whole new system, so we're constantly looking… to make adjustments all the time," he said, referring to the light at Route 24 and Route 924/Tollgate Road that was eliminated by the new overpass. "It helps when people call in."

Some people expressed concerns about the danger of merging onto Route 24 from streets off Tollgate Road, and said there were noticing drivers making U-turns to go back down Route 24.

Vananzo said that is being taken into account.

Others mentioned confusion over markings in the Tollgate area, such as "wiggled" lane markings.

Vananzo said one big issue is people not paying attention to markings, or assuming they know which way they are going because they are used to driving with the old patterns.

"Once people start getting used to things, it'll operate a lot better," he added.

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