The plans remain ready and rumors about their revival are hot, but state and Crofton officials say it is unlikely Route 3 will be turned into a major highway any time soon.
The renewed discussion started last week, when Crofton Town Manager Jordan Harding met with Neal Pedersen, the planning director for the State Highway Administration.
Harding said he wanted to discuss problem intersections and get a briefing on the Route 3 project because of rumors in the community that the state wanted to revive plans to upgrade Route 3 from Bowie to Millersville.
The town manager said Pedersen brought maps and schematic drawings of the project, which would include widening Route 3 by one lane in each direction and building an overpass for Route 424 and the western portion of Route 450, in Bowie.
Community leaders object to any Route 3 upgrade that would turn the road into a highway.
"We are not against any kind of improvements on Route 3," said Ed Dosek, president of the Crofton Civic Association. "But we don't want to have Route 3 be a part of the interstate system."
But both Harding and Pedersen said the controversial project will remain on the shelf until Crofton initiates the discussion.
"They won't do anything unless they have the total support from Crofton officials because of the historic opposition to any Route 3 improvements," Harding said.
Chuck Brown, an SHA spokesman, said the Route 3 upgrade, which was spiked two years ago, "is dead."
"There are no plans right now to reactivate," he said. "We have been in contact with Crofton officials and we will continue talking and discussing it with them when they want to. If they want it, we will go back and show them the plans and the studies."
However, Dosek said he is concerned that state improvements to highways around Crofton, such as U.S. 50, could force residents to accept a Route 3 upgrade.
"I hope they won't paint us into a corner with building interchanges and improvements north and south and east and west of us, and then hope we will capitulate and get the road in," he said. "Then we will have 12 lanes of concrete and highway in front of Crofton."