It would widen the highway, adding an extra lane in the median.
Frederick, Md (KM) The preferred alternative for improving Route 15 between Route 26 and Interstate 270 has been identified. The Maryland State Highway Administration says Alternative 4 would widen the highway by building a lane in both north and southbound on the median rather than the outsides of Route 15.
“We would try to maintain the interchange configuration as they exist. We would also try to minimize impact to adjacent communities,” says Barry Kiedrowski, the Chief of the Project Management Division for SHA.
He says if this alternative moves ahead, that would mean the state would not to take land or homes near the highway in order to widen Route 15. “Major right-of-way impacts there are averted,” he said. “However, we do have to look through final designs to make final determinations as the project moves on.”
Now that an alternative has been identified, Kiedrowski says the next step is to complete this planning study by the spring of 2020. “After that, we are going to begin a detailed design phase to look how we can move this project forward by investigating further details throughout the corridor,” says Kiedrowski.
But he emphasizes that this widening is no where near being shovel ready. “At this point, we only have funding available for a portion of our design phase. We do not have a schedule at this time for construction,” says Kiedrowski.
Last week, when the Maryland Department of Transportation made its annual visit to Frederick to discuss the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program, County Executive Jan Gardner said the County’s top transportation priority is construction funding for Route 15 from Route 26 to I-70. Kiedrowski said that request would be considered by SHA as it makes it plans for Route 15. “Frederick County and Frederick City’s requests will be definitely be taken into account as further program measures are taken,” he says.
SHA also announced last week the construction of an auxiliary lane along Route 15 southbound from Route 26 to Motter Avenue. That project is expected to begin in the spring of 2020,and be completed by the end of the year.
More details on this project are available at http://bit.ly/US15project, or at roads.maryland.gov.
By Kevin McManus