County Executive Ken Ulman joined Gov. Martin O'Malley today to announce that, weather permitting, a new interchange along Route 32 in Dayton will be open to motorists by Friday, Nov. 8.

The $16.5 million interchange was built to improve safety and decrease congestion at the intersection of Route 32 and Linden Church Road. The project replaced two traffic signals at east and west Linden Church roads with the interchange and a two-lane bridge that redirects Linden Church Road over Route 32.


The project was paid for by Howard County funds and was built by the Maryland State Highway Administration.

"Improvements on MD 32 have been Howard County's top traffic safety priority," Ulman said in a statement. "The county and SHA have worked together on a number of initiatives in the area, and this project is a big step in the right direction. There is more work to be done, but we are glad that our partnership is paying dividends."

According to the SHA, 27,000 vehicles travel along the stretch of Route 32 near Linden Church Road daily, and projections show traffic will increase to 36,000 cars a day by 2025.

Work began on the interchange project in summer 2012, and the bridge and Route 32 on-ramps opened Oct. 16. Crews are currently finishing the off-ramps.

Once the off-ramps are complete, crews will finish final paving of the on-ramps and remove a temporary connection from Route 32 to Broadwater Lane that was used during construction. Construction work is scheduled to be complete by December and landscaping work should be finished in the spring of next year.

The new interchange in Dayton is part of a broader, ongoing effort to decrease traffic congestion along Route 32. A proposed plan would widen Route 32 to a four-lane, access-controlled, divided highway.

SHA finished a similar project at Route 32 and Burntwoods Road, three miles to the north, in 2009. Another major project to build an interchange at Route 32 and Rosemary Lane is in design.

Future projects include new interchanges at Route 144, I-70, Nixon's Farm Lane and at the entrance to the state and county highway maintenance buildings in Dayton. The timeline for these improvements is dependent upon permit approvals.