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Major Carroll County roadways could be expanded under long-term transportation plan; public meeting scheduled

Major Carroll County roadways could be expanded under long-term transportation plan; public meeting scheduled
On Md. 26, for 2.6 miles from Md. 32 (this intersection is pictured) to Liberty Reservoir, the plan is to widen the roadway from four lanes to six, including accommodation for bikes and pedestrians, and add a median. This plan has a projected cost of $102 million. (Carroll County Times file)

The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board will soon host a public meeting in Carroll County for residents to hear about and discuss a series of long-term transportation proposals, some of which would substantially expand major Carroll roadways.

The Maximize 2045 plan maps out transportation projects throughout Maryland that would be designed to be implemented between 2024 and 2045.

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“It’s a document that spells out the broad reach of transportation goals,” said Terry Freeland, transportation planner. “It also has a financial plan in it, what we project the amount of revenue that will be available to pay for, maintain and operating the transportation system. It’s a federally required document; every metropolitan area in the country has to do them, so it’s generally updated every four years.”

The public meeting will be held on June 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Carroll County government building, at 225 N. Center St.

There are seven major capital project proposals planned for Carroll County in the Maximize 2045 plan.

  • On Md. 26, for 2.6 miles from Md. 32 to Liberty Reservoir, the plan is to widen the roadway from four lanes to six, including accommodation for bikes and pedestrians, and add a median. This plan has a projected cost of $102 million.
  • On Md. 32, for 3.364 miles from Md. 26 to the Howard County line, the plan is to widen the roadway from two lanes to four, including accommodation for bikes and pedestrians,and construct a median. The plan is designed to address anticipated traffic growth and increase safety in the corridor. This plan has a projected cost of $57 million.
  • On Md. 97, for 4.73 miles from the Md. 140 overpass to Bachmans Valley Road, the plan is to widen the roadway from two lanes to five, including the Md. 140/Meadow Branch Road interchange, and with accommodation for bikes and pedestrians. The plan is envisioned to support economic vitality of the community by reducing congestion, and improving operations and regional access. This plan has a projected cost of $233 million.
  • On Md. 140, for 2.5 miles from Market Street to Sullivan Road, the plan is to widen the roadway from six lanes to eight, and to construct a full interchange at Md. 97 and continuous-flow intersections where Md. 140 meets Center Street and Englar Road, including outside bike lanes and sidewalks in both directions. The aim of the plan is to widen through traffic lanes and construct intersection and interchange improvements at multiple locations. This plan has a projected cost of $271 million. (Continuous-flow intersections displace left-turning drivers from the main intersection, meaning they can turn without crossing through the intersection in front of opposing traffic.)
  • On Md. 140 at Md. 91, for 1.85 miles from the Baltimore County line to Kays Mill Road, the plan is to install a divided highway with a new interchange at Md. 91, make intersection improvements, and add accommodation for bikes and pedestrians. The plan aims to support economic vitality of the community by making the busy intersection safer and more efficient with a grade separated interchange, and to boost regional access with improved roadway connections. This plan has a projected cost of $170 million.
  • On Md. 31, for 0.19 miles from Church Street to Lambert Avenue, and on Md. 851, for 1.037 miles from the Howard County line to Springfield Avenue, the plans would involve infrastructure improvement, pavement rehabilitation and streetscaping. Both plans aim to stabilize roadway infrastructure and improve pedestrian access to an existing commercial center. The plans have projected costs of $14 million for Md. 31 and $15 million for Md. 851.

Freeland thinks that the community will respond favorably to the plans but wants their input to understand exactly what they want.

“We typically try to get public input on the plans,” Freeland said. “It’s an opportunity for the public to look at the project in the short-term program and long-term program to give their feedback. These are all projects that the county itself submitted through the selection process.”

According to Freeland, not all of the plans will necessarily be implemented.

More information on the project can be found at maximize2045.com.

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