Con­ges­tion re­lief in the works for Branch Ave.

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

This let­ter was sent to Mary­land Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Charles, Calvert, Prince Ge­orge’s). A copy was sent to the Mary­land In­de­pen­dent. Dear Sen­a­tor Miller: Thank you for your April 24, 2017, let­ter re­gard­ing con­ges­tion re­lief projects near Route 5 (Branch Av­enue) and Brandy­wine Road in Prince Ge­orge’s County, Mary­land. The District En­gi­neer has re­ceived your let­ter and re­quested that I re­spond to your con­cern on his be­half.

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion’s State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion (SHA) is cur­rently in the process of de­vel­op­ing and pro­vid­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects to al­le­vi­ate traf­fic con­ges­tion in tar­geted ar­eas of Prince Ge­orge’s County. Per your re­quest, this let­ter lists re­cently com­pleted and pro­posed projects near MD 5 (Branch Av­enue) and Brandy­wine Road.

SHA is aware Route 5 is a heav­ily trav­eled com­muter route that con­nects south­ern Prince Ge­orge’s, Charles, Calvert and St. Mary’s coun­ties with the Wash­ing­ton, D.C. metropoli­tan area. The four-lane di­vided high­way has lim­ited ac­cess con­trol, with ac­cess to Route 5 cur­rently be­ing pro­vided by at-grade sig­nal­ized in­ter­sec­tions at Brandy­wine Road and Route 373 (Ac­co­keek Road).

MDOT SHA cur­rently has a con­struc­tion project at the Route 5 (Branch Av­enue) and Brandy­wine Road (Route 373/Route 381) in­ter­sec­tion. The pur­pose of this project is to re­lieve traf­fic con­ges­tion along this sec­tion of Route 5 by re­mov­ing the sig­nal­ized in­ter­sec­tions, thereby al­low­ing ve­hi­cles free flow through the area. The project scope con­sists of con­struct­ing an over­pass bridge north of the ex­ist­ing Brandy­wine Road in­ter­sec­tion, with ramps and ser­vice roads pro­vid­ing ac­cess to and from Route 5. A round­about will be con­structed at the in­ter­sec­tion with Route 373 (Ac­co­keek Road).

Work on the project also in­cludes drainage and land­scap­ing im­prove­ments; in­ter­change light­ing; sign­ing and pave­ment mark­ing up­grades; side­walks and pedes­trian ramps com­pli­ant with the Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act (ADA); and a Park and Ride fa­cil­ity. This five-phase project is cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion and is sched­uled to be com­pleted Win­ter of 2019, weather and sched­ul­ing per­mit­ting.

The Route 5 (Branch Av­enue) cor­ri­dor ex­pe­ri­ences se­vere traf­fic con­ges­tion dur­ing peak hours, es­pe­cially at sig­nal­ized in­ter­sec­tions at the south­ern end of the cor­ri­dor. In ad­di­tion, high crash rates ex­ist at sev­eral lo­ca­tions along this cor­ri­dor. MDOT SHA Project Man­age­ment Divi­sion is cur­rently eval­u­at­ing po­ten­tial cor­ri­dor im­prove­ment al­ter­na­tives un­der along Route 5 (Branch Ave) from I-95 to south of Route 337 to en­sure that planned high­way im­prove­ments will be com­pat­i­ble with the pro­posed South­ern Mary­land Rapid Tran­sit (SMRT) project lead by MDOT’s Mar yland Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion. MDOT SHA is also de­vel­op­ing con­cep­tual op­tions to im­prove traf­fic safety and op­er­a­tions be­tween the I-495/Route 5 In­ter­change and Route 337 (Al­len­town Road). MDOT SHA will con­tinue to co­or­di­nate with stake­hold­ers to so­licit in­put as these ef­forts move for­ward.

Thank you again for your let­ter. The District En­gi­neer ap­pre­ci­ates hear­ing from you and, on his be­half I thank you for shar­ing your ob­ser­va­tions and those of your con­stituents.

Brian W. Young, Green­belt The writer is the District 3 En­gi­neer with Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion, State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

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