Traffic light coming to Cecil County side of the Conowingo Dam
CONOWINGO — The Maryland State Highway Administration is waiting for permission from the neighbors to continue with its plans to install a full traffic signal on Route 222 at U.S. Route 1.
The signal will come with “dilemma zone detection” to further enhance safety along this corridor that has had more than its share of vehicle collisions.
Maryland State Police have been called to at least a half dozen serious crashes in that area in the past two years according to MSP spokesman Greg Shipley.
“Maryland State Police responded to two crashes at that location, one property damage and one personal injury,” Shipley said. “In 2019, State Police responded to four personal injury crashes and one property damage crash there, not including the dump truck that went over the dam itself.”
Robert Rager, SHA spokesman, said the project to improve traffic safety on the Cecil County side of the Conowingo Dam has been in progress for well over a year.
“We’ve installed much of the infrastructure but the project can’t be completed until we have a green light, so to speak, to attach electrical conduit to the railroad bridge here,” Rager said Wednesday, referring to nearby Norfolk Southern. “It’s been a long legal process but I think we’re finally close to an agreement with the railroad.”
Rager said the signal will improve safety, especially for those drivers coming from Port Deposit with the intention of making a left turn onto the dam, or those traveling south on Route 1, also wishing to turn left.
“Because of the location, we’re including additional safety features on US 1; specifically, “red signal ahead” warning lights and something we call “dilemma zone detection,” Rager said. The radar based system reads the speed of a vehicle and its distance to the traffic light as it is about to turn red.
“A driver entering the dilemma zone as the signal turns yellow may decide to accelerate rather than stop. The detection equipment can sense vehicle speed and location and tell the controller to hold the yellow light just a little longer, allowing that vehicle to clear the intersection before the light turns red,” he explained. “It’s an effective method for improving safety by reducing the likelihood of a vehicle running a red light.”
According to Rager, that technology is already in place on Augustine Herman
Highway at Point and Williams near Elkton.
Rager could not say when work would continue or when the signal would be
Locust Roads placed into use.
SHA estimates that Route 1 sees 14,000 vehicles daily, while 3,000 travel that section of Route 222 on an average day.
Once Norfolk Southern allows electric to be run across its property, Maryland State Highway Administration expects that a new full traffic signal at Route 1 and Route 222 on the Cecil County side of the Conowingo Dam will be put into use.