George Cardwell, a senior consultant with Pennoni and Associates contracted to help compose the transportation element of the Freedom Plan, told the commission that much of the concern with traffic in the Freedom Area is focused on the area surrounding Md. 26 and Md. 32.
After community members expressed concern earlier in the year that some aspects of the construction would be detrimental to local businesses, the State Highway Administration agreed to push the work back and limit the work to different segments at different times.
The work, which will now begin in the spring, will add improvements such as sidewalks, ramps, and lighting to Md. 30 between North Woods Trail and the CSX railroad intersection, as well as accommodate better stormwater management.
Work will likely be completed on improvements to an intersection near the armory in Sykesville this winter, Johnson said.
For Carroll's portion of the larger Md. 32 improvement project, Johnson said a needs study on the corridor is being done now. With the study and the necessary public hearings, it could be up to two years before construction work begins on the widening of that roadway, he said.
"This is a first step, but it is a big first step in laying the groundwork where you have a real project," Johnson said.
Transportation officials also told the county representatives that members of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's administration will continue the push to restore highway user revenues, something that would provide the county and its municipalities with funds to help maintain local infrastructure.
For other needs, the transportation staff told the commissioners and municipal officials to contact the department with any items they would also like to see addressed.