If you are attending the meeting hosted by the Baltimore Regional Transportation Board tonight, don’t expect immediate gratification. But if you do turn out, listen to discussion about a series of long-term transportation proposals and then let your opinions be heard, you could help shape some of Carroll’s roadways over the next quarter-century.

The meeting is scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Carroll County government building, 225 N. Center St. It is the seventh of eight such meetings run by the BRTB to discuss $15.66 billion in key transportation projects planned for the region over the next 25 years. More than 200 projects are part of two transportation plans open for public comment. Some of these projects would substantially expand major Carroll roadways.

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One of the plans covers projects from 2020 through 2023. The other, known as “Maximize2045: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan,” maps out transportation projects throughout Maryland that would be designed to be implemented between 2024 and 2045.

“It’s a document that spells out the broad reach of transportation goals,” Terry Freeland, transportation planner, told us. “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.”

Understand that the plan of the BRTB differs from the Carroll County Transportation Priority Letter, which outlines and identifies the Carroll County Board of Commissioner’s state road transportation project priorities. Tonight’s meeting is only seeking comment on Maximize2045 and will not include discussion of the local transportation priorities.

There are seven major capital project proposals outlined 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. 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. 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. This plan has a projected cost of $271 million.

• 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. 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. The plans have projected costs of $14 million for Md. 31 and $15 million for Md. 851.

Freeland said he expects the community will respond favorably to the plans but wants their input. It’s unlikely they will all be implemented. Thus, hearing opinions from Carroll countians may be useful in prioritizing.

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

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