Local Politicians Discuss Commitment to Southern Maryland's Transportation Future - Southern Maryland Headline News

Local Politicians Discuss Commitment to Southern Maryland's Transportation Future

WALDORF, MD - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), along with State Senator Roy Dyson (D-29), Delegate Murray Levy (D), Delegate John Bohanan (D), and Charles County Commissioner Edith Patterson (D), today rolled out an additional federal share of funding for Southern Maryland's transportation future, including several federal projects already underway, at a press conference that was held at the Mattawoman-Beantown Park & Ride in Waldorf.

"In a word, traffic congestion has become abominable in the area, and these backups have ushered in substantial problems that need to be solved now," Hoyer said. "Commuting times have risen, smog and pollution have increased, and local residents who depend on their cars have had to pay much more at the gas pump. This is unacceptable."

"Whether it's investing in the Southern Maryland Commuter Bus Initiative, constructing the Hughesville Bypass, or improving Indian Head Highway, we must continue to ensure that upgrading our transportation infrastructure is a top priority," Hoyer said.

As part of Democrats' new direction on energy, Hoyer recently introduced the Program for Real Energy Security (PROGRESS) Act, an energy independence bill that, among other initiatives, focuses on investment in public transit.

"If we don't change our policies, future generations will become hostage to foreign sources of oil," Hoyer said. "One critical way to avoid this fate is through investments in our mass transit system."

The following are a list of projects that use federal funding that was allocated in last year's Transportation Reauthorization Conference Report:

(1) Southern Maryland Commuter Bus Initiative, $7 million

* This funding will allow the Southern Maryland region to construct six commuter parking facilities in Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, acquire over the road coaches, and improve intersections at key locations along the MD 5 corridor. This will enable swifter and more efficient movement.

(2) Hughesville Bypass along MD 5-Leonardtown Road, $11 million

* Construction of the Bypass was identified by the Tri-County Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and recognized by the state, as the second most pressing transportation need behind the widening of Rt. 235 to accommodate Pax River's expansion.

* This project creates a new four-lane, divided highway from the end of the divided highway south of Hughesville to the end of the divided highway north of Hughesville. The project's design is complete and construction is underway.

(3) Chancellor's Run Road, MD 237, $12 million

* This is a narrow two lane roadway with minimal shoulders and dangerous sharp curves. Without improvements, it will soon be incapable of handling projected peak hour traffic volume resulting from residential and commercial growth in the Lexington Park region.

* An improved MD 237 will serve the current needs and future expansion at Patuxent River Naval Air Station and support associated growth in Southern Maryland.

* This funding will provide a third of the funding necessary to complete this project to upgrade and widen Chancellor's Run Road from Pegg Road to MD 235. The planning and design of this project is underway.

(4) New Interchange Connecting MD 4 and Suitland Parkway, $4 million (A total of $15 million included in the bill for this project.)

* The Suitland Parkway Interchange project would expand a major corridor from Calvert County in Southern Maryland to Prince George's County and Washington, DC, and improve access to the military bases in Southern Maryland.

* Funds will be used to design and construct the MD 4 and Suitland Parkway Interchange and to widen the interchange with the addition of one general use lane in each direction.

(5) MD 246 (Great Mills Road), MD 235 to Saratoga Drive, $1 million

* Funds will be used for streetscape construction of MD 246, Great Mills Road, from MD 235 to Saratoga Drive. Great Mills Road serves as a main street through the community of Lexington Park in St. Mary's County.

* The project will resurface the roadway, provide continuous sidewalk, improve drainage, consolidate utilities, and add medians from Coral Drive to FDR Boulevard.

(6) New Interchange Connecting Branch Avenue (MD 5), MD 373, and Brandywine Road, $16 million

* Severe traffic congestion during peak hours at this intersection affects drivers in Southern Prince George's County, Southern Maryland and commuters from Washington, DC.

* This funding will provide nearly a third of the funds necessary for the design and construction of an interchange connecting Branch Avenue (MD 5), MD 373, and Brandywine Road and the widening of Branch Avenue between Moore's Road and US 301.

(7) Indian Head Highway, MD 210, $3 million, (A total of $6 million included in the bill for this project.)

* Indian Head Highway is a major regional commuting corridor and is one of the major roads connecting the Maryland suburbs with Washington, DC and surrounding counties.

* The $6 million approved in the Highway bill will make upgrades to Indian Head Highway to replace intersections from MD 228 to I-95/-495.

* The planned improvements involve the construction of interchanges at the first six intersections south of the Capital Beltway located at Old Fort Road North, Fort Washington Road, Swan Creek Road/Livingston Road, and Old Fort Road South.

(8) Greenbelt Metro Station Interchange, $1 million

* Currently, the I-95/I-495 interchange at the Greenbelt Metro Station is a partial interchange that provides access to and from the north and west only. Access to the Metro station and the Beltway for those traveling to and from the south and east must be made through the local street network.

* Funding will be used to install two additional ramps to make the Greenbelt Metro Station interchange a full access interchange to facilitate transit use at the Metro and MARC stations.


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