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Funds needed for interchanges on U.S. 29 near Fulton


They might get an interchange with old-fashioned traffic circles. They might get one with cloverleafs.

But before motorists on U.S. 29 near Fulton get new entrance or exit ramps, the state will have to find some money to pay for them, a state official told the Howard County Council this week.

Engineers with the Maryland Department of Transportation plan two new interchanges for U.S. 29 in that part of the county -- at Route 216 and at Gorman Road. Both projects are near a planned community in Fulton that will include apartments, houses, shops and businesses.

It could be 10 years before the two projects are built, said Council Chairman Charles C. Feaga. Each is expected to cost up to $20 million, to be paid primarily by the state, said Joe Rutter, head of the county's zoning and planning department.

For the Route 216 project, county and state officials are negotiating with developers near the proposed interchange, which would be a traditional on-off ramp or a cloverleaf.

For the Gorman Road project, state designers presented four plans to the County Council at its Monday night meeting.

One plan calls for motorists getting off U.S. 29 to enter one of two traffic circles before going east or west. Motorists also would have to use the traffic circles to enter U.S. 29. The other three designs call for cloverleafs.

Mr. Rutter said the Route 216 project is more crucial to keeping up with expected growth in the area.

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