A major state refurbishment of Route 22 in Bel Air and Churchville, which includes resurfacing, road widening and safety improvements, had been scheduled to be finished this fall, but state transportation officials now estimate it will be finished by next spring.
The primary reason for the delay is the need to relocate a BGE gas line, according to Shantee Felix, a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration.
The $6.5 million project, which started in August of 2017, covers a section of the heavily-traveled Route 22 between Prospect Mill Road in Bel Air and Route 136 in Churchville.
Much of the first phase of the project, the resurfacing of Route 22 between Thomas Run Road/Schucks Road, by Harford Community College, and Route 136, is largely completed, save the final striping of lines to mark lanes, Felix said in an email Tuesday.
“There were some delays on the project due to BGE gas line relocation that needs to be completed before crews enter phase two, which is roadway widening and safety and resurfacing between Thomas Run/Shucks Road intersection and the Prospect Mill Road intersection,” Felix wrote.
SHA expects the second phase, involving the section of highway between Prospect Mill and Thomas Run/Schucks roads, will start once the first section is striped, and the full project will be completed by the spring of 2019, according to Felix.
The project is meant to improve safety and ease congestion in the well-traveled Route 22 corridor between Bel Air and Aberdeen.
The work between Prospect Mill and Thomas Run/Schucks roads includes widening that section of highway with a "continuous second through lane," according to SHA.
The main entrance to Harford Community College is at Route 22 and Thomas Run Road. There is another entrance off Route 22 on the eastern side of the 350-acre campus.
The state also planned a number of improvements in the project area related to bicycle and pedestrian safety, plus access for disabled people, on the sidewalks, crosswalks and shoulders. Additional planned improvements included upgrades to traffic signals, fixes to drainage and stormwater management infrastructure and landscaping.
The improvements to Route 22 are part of a wish list of $28 million worth of transportation improvement projects that Harford County Executive Barry Glassman’s administration submitted to the state in 2016.