County Council Discusses Transportation Priorities

They will be sent in a letter to MDOT.


Frederick, Md (KM). US 15 from Interstate 70 to Route 26 continues to be the top highway priority for Frederick County. That’s according to a draft letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation from the County Executive.

The letter was presented to the County Council this week by Ron Burns, Transportation Engineering Manager. He says it involves the construction of two additional lanes in the median of Route 15. “Basically, in Frederick, it’s the main street, and it’s congested both directions. Enough said,” says Burns.

This letter containing the top transportation priorities was drafted by County Executive Jan Gardner, and is being circulated to the County Council, the Planning Commission, the Transportation Services Advisory Council (TSAC) , the City of Frederick and the other municipalities for their input. It’s hoped by listing their priorities in a letter to MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn , these projects can be placed in the state’s Consolidated Transportation Program.

In her letter, County Executive Gardner expressed concern that this US 15 project “has been pushed back on the construction schedule, from an anticipated early 2020’s to 2030, and is not progressing through the project development process in a timely matter. US 15 between I-70 and MD. 26 fails during both peak hours in both directions and continues to add to the State’s crash and fatality counts. It has been consistently been our  number one overall priority.”

The second priority is two-phased project along Route 85. “Right now, Phase II is an urban reconstructed boulevard from Spectrum {Drive} up to Guilford {Drive} with sidewalks and bike lanes,” Burns  says. “You know how junky 85 is. It’s been built in a hodge-podge over the years. That will clean that up as an urban reconstruct.”

And there’s more to Route 85. “And then Phase III would be dualizing Route 85 down and over Ballenger Creek to meet the five-lane section that’s recently been built in the partnership between the county and St. John ‘s Properties that extends all the way down to English Muffin {Way}|,”  says Burns.

The third priority is widening Route 194 ftom Route 26 to Devilbiss Road. “We’d like to start project planning funding, knowing that it often takes five, ten 15, 20, even 30 years to go from planning to construction,” says Burns. In addition , he says, this is a “clean project” because there’s no wetlands, no bridges and it’s  relatively cheap. Burns also says no homes will be taken to add two more lanes to Route 194.


By Kevin McManus