Governor Ehrlich Celebrates Completion Of Md 235 Widening Project In St. Mary's County

Governor Also Announces Funding for Design of Great Mills Road Streetscape Project

(Lexington Park - July 9, 2004) - Demonstrating his continued commitment to Southern Maryland, Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., today joined Navy officials and local and State elected officials at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station to celebrate the completion of the $75 million MD 235 widening project. In addition, the Governor announced $300,000 in new funds to design streetscape improvements along Great Mills Road (MD 246).

"This is a great day for St. Mary's County and the thousands who commute to Pax River everyday," said Governor Ehrlich. "A wider and safer MD 235 is now finished and open for business. We have taken a great step toward relieving traffic along this major corridor that is so important to the economic development and quality of life in St. Mary's County and Southern Maryland."

MD 235 serves as the primary route through the St. Mary's County peninsula. In 1990, 33,000 vehicles a day traveled on what was then a four-lane highway. The Patuxent River Naval Station was expanded in 1995, adding 5,000 employees for a total workforce of 19,000. Daily traffic has grown to 56,000 vehicles a day. Improvements to four miles of MD 235 leading to the Naval Station had to be made to address traffic growth and accommodate the needs of the Navy and the private sector enterprises needed to support it. The roadway was widened from four to six lanes with a number of turning lanes added to reach the growing business community in the corridor.

In addition to celebrating the completion of MD 235, Governor Ehrlich announced $300,000 has been allocated to move forward with the design of "streetscape" improvements along Great Mills Road (MD 246) near St. Mary's Square in Lexington Park. The concept for the project includes new sidewalks, landscaped medians, decorative lighting and new curbs.

"Moving forward with the Great Mills Road project was made possible because Delegate Tony O'Donnell and Delegate John Wood showed the leadership and courage in supporting my transportation funding package in the legislature," added Governor Ehrlich. "As a result, we now have the first new funding for transportation in more than a decade to proceed with needed transportation projects in Southern Maryland and around the State.

Funding for the Great Mills Road streetscape project comes in addition to a $681,000 safety and resurfacing project the State Highway Administration just started along a one-mile stretch of Great Mills Road between Coral and Saratoga Drives at St. Mary's Square. Weather permitting, work on the safety and resurfacing project should be complete this fall.

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