I-95 in­ter­change op­tions to be pre­sented at pub­lic meet­ing

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Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By KATIE TABELING kta­bel­[email protected]­cil­whig.com

— The Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity (MDTA) will be host­ing an­other pub­lic meet­ing on a new In­ter­state 95 in­ter­change to serve Prin­ci­pio Busi­ness Park on Jan. 17, but this time the meet­ing will fo­cus on pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Last month, fed­eral of­fi­cials an­nounced $20 mil­lion in fund­ing for a new in­ter­change to the in­ter­state high­way near Belvidere Road. The es­ti­mated to­tal cost for the project is $54 mil­lion, but a deal bro­kered be­tween the state, fed­eral gov­ern­ment and owner of the busi­ness park would mean that Ce­cil County would pay as lit­tle as $1 mil­lion.

But be­fore work can start, the MDTA and the Fed­eral High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion have to con­duct a Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Pol­icy Act (NEPA) study to iden­tify po­ten­tial im­prove­ments for truck ac­cess to the in­ter­state high­way and planned de­vel­op­ment of Prin­ci­pio Busi­ness Park. Spe­cific fo­cus will be on the 7.6-mile stretch of I-95 be­tween the Route 222 and the Route 272 in­ter­changes.

In the mean­time, the MDTA and the fed­eral trans­porta­tion of­fi­cials set a pub­lic hear­ing to show peo­ple what road im­prove­ment op­tions are on the ta­ble. Un­like the pre­vi­ous pub­lic meet­ing that was held in Au­gust, MDTA Pub­lic Af­fairs Man­ager John Sales ex­plained this one will show ex­am­ples of what could hap­pen.

“The meet­ing in Au­gust showed what we would be look­ing at with the NEPA, and this meet­ing will show dif­fer­ent in­ter­change op­tions we’re con­sid­er­ing,” he told the Whig. “Of course, one

ELK­TON

op­tion with the NEPA is a nobuild al­ter­na­tive as well.”

Eight dif­fer­ent in­ter­change op­tions will be pre­sented, as well as a trans­porta­tion man­age­ment al­ter­na­tive, which takes a broader look at the road­way im­prove­ments which could in­clude traf­fic sig­nals and turn lanes. There will be no for­mal pre­sen­ta­tion, although peo­ple can re­view dis­plays about the project at their leisure.

“We’re re­ally hop­ing peo­ple come out and share their thoughts about it since we had such great turnout at the first open house and had fan­tas­tic com­ments,” Sales said. “With the draft NEPA study com­ing out in spring 2019, we’ll host an­other hear­ing in the sum­mer.”

The open house is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Thurs­day, Jan. 17, at the Per­ryville Com­mu­nity Fire Com­pany, lo­cated at 920 Prin­ci­pio Fur­nace Road in Per­ryville. The meet­ing would be post­poned to Jan. 24 in case Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools are closed due to snow.

Upon re­quest, spe­cial ac­com­mo­da­tions or an in­ter­preter can be pro­vided. Re­quests can be made to Melissa Bog­dan at 410-5375675 or mbog­[email protected] mary­land.gov no later than three busi­ness days be­fore the meet­ing.

More in­for­ma­tion on the I-95 in­ter­change project can be found at mdta.mary­land. gov/Cap­i­tal_Pro­jects/I-95_ At_Belvidere_Road­_S­tudy/ Home.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MDTA

This map shows the area of the NEPA study, which must be done be­fore any work is done on the pro­posed I-95 in­ter­change.

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