Congestion relief in the works for Branch Ave.
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.