Motorists who creep north along the two-lane portion of Route 29 from Seneca Drive to Route 175 may finally see work begin next year on a long-planned project to widen the highway to three lanes.
Gov. Martin O'Malley announced $48 million in new state funding yesterday for the long-delayed project, part of a $468 million statewide transportation budget.
An additional $56.8 million was set aside for the replacement of older transit buses, another long-standing problem for Howard Transit.
In addition, O'Malley earmarked $3 million to plan widening of Route 175 from US 1 to Fort Meade.
"That's a surprise. We didn't know that was going to happen," county public works director James Irvin said about the Route 29 funding.
Irvin said the county has appropriated $12 million for the project and has $5 million in federal funds, but the state money will enable work to get started next year on a three-phase project, though more money will be needed to complete it.
One difficult, unsolved issue is how to engineer the crossover traffic light for northbound cars trying to turn left into River's Edge, south of Route 32, Irvin said.