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Lane addition to help ease bottleneck on Bel Air's Marketplace Drive

Lane addition to help ease bottleneck on Bel Air's Marketplace Drive
The eastbound side of the Marketplace Drive and Route 24 intersection will have an additional lane added this summer to relieve the stacking of traffic that often occurs from vehicles leaving Home Depot and the Tollgate Marketplace shopping center. (ALLAN VOUGHT/THE AEGIS/BSMG)

Several Bel Air streets will be resurfaced this summer, and one will get an additional lane, which should make many motorists happy, according to town officials.

Earlier this week, the Bel Air town commissioners approved a master paving bid from Gradeline Construction Co. of Brooklandville not to exceed $313,400, which was the lowest of five bids received, Public Works Director Stephen Kline said.

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Included in the list of work to be done is the addition of a third lane along Marketplace Drive at the intersection with Route 24.

The additional lane should eliminate the stacking of traffic trying to either turn left at Route 24 or to cross that highway, while right turning traffic onto 24 often also backs up. There is currently a single lane for left turning or straight through traffic and a right turn only lane that extends from a Home Depot exit.

Kline said the additional eastbound lane would mean less stacking, providing a left turning and straight through lane, rather than having both in a single lane as is the case today.

“I’m excited about that,” Mayor Susan Burdette said during Monday’s town meeting of the Marketplace work. She asked how soon it would be done.

Kline replied that the contractor would start in early June. But after Finance Director Lisa Moody reminded the DPW chief that funding for the contract falls under the fiscal year 2019 budget that doesn’t go into effect until July 1, Kline quickly corrected himself and said the work would begin in July.

Either way, he said, the contractor would make the lane addition a priority.

Streets to be resurfaced under the new contract include: Choice Street; Maitland Street from Fulford Avenue to Churchville Road; Williams Street from Gordon Street to Ellendale Street; Broadway from Williams Street to Main Street; Calvin Place; Pennsylvania Avenue from Shannon Drive to Lee Way; and Hunter Drive.

The contract also covers any miscellaneous paving jobs that may come up over the summer, according to Kline.

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