She will hold a transportation town hall next month.
Frederick, Md (KM). Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner has come out with a list of top transportation projects for the coming year. Topping the list when it comes to construction funding is Route 15 between Route 26 and Interstate 70. “This stretch of US 15 is over capacity now, and all of the interchange movements and traffic movements fail in both directions during peak travel times both morning and evening. And anyone who drives it can tell you that,” she says.
In many instances, Gardner says it could take longer than usual to get from one place to another. “The backup on Maryland 26 from people trying to head south on 15 in the morning is certainly getting worse every day. And it can easily take five minutes on to US 15 from the traffic light near Wegmans which is only about a half a mile,” she says.
The County Executive says placing improvements to this stretch of Route 15 as the top priority for construction funding has the support of all of the county’s municipal leaders. She says that project is under some preliminary engineering and design. This project is expected to include widening Route 15 in that area, retrofitting three bridges and putting up sound barriers.
Placing this project as the number-one priority for Frederick County when it comes to construction funding is the first step toward obtaining state and federal dollars for this project, says Gardner.
Improvements to Route 85 between Spectrum Drive and Guilford Drive is the top priority when it comes to engineering and design funding. “Plans are for the road to be widened to a six-lane roadway with bike and pedestrian improvements that can support redevelopment opportunities in this part of the county,” says Gardner. “Again, a major shopping and employment area.”
Route 194 between Route 26 and Walkesrville High School has been listed as the County’s top priority for project planning. “This project would widen Maryland 194 from two lanes to four lanes,” says Gardner. “It’s a good project for us to include as a priority because the right-of-ways needed to widen the road have already been acquired or owned by State Highway. So we believe it’s a cost-effective project. It is supported by the Town of Walkersville and our municipal leaders.”
Another project included in the county’s transportation priorities include improvements to the Park and Ride lot at Route 340 and Mount Zion Road. “The existing lots there are overflowing, and we really want to encourage the state to pick up the speed of construction of the proposed park and ride expansion there,” Gardner says.
“We’ll also be advocating for expanded transit service, including para-transit, some of our shuttle routes and the rural bus service,” says Gardner.
These and other projects will be included in a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation.
In addition, Gardner says she will hold a transportation town hall on Thursday, February 8th at Winchester Hall beginning at 7:00 PM. Citizens are encouraged to attend and offer their points of view and ask questions. For those who can’t be there, the meeting will be broadcast live on Frederick County Government TV channel 19, and webcast at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/video. There will be number of live social media outlets where residents can sent their questions and comments.
By Kevin McManus