Big Changes in Store for South County Route 2 Say State Highway Officials
The State Highway Administration (SHA) is hosting an open house Thursday (July 19) at the South County Branch of the public library to explain expansion plans for Route 2 (Solomons Island Road) in southern Anne Arundel and northern Calvert counties.
According to a Maryland SHA newsletter, the design is underway in five key intersections:
- Solomons Island Road (MD2) at Harwood Drive (subdivision community north of Southern High School)
- Solomons Island Road (MD2) at Owensville Sudley Road (MD255)
- Solomons Island Road (MD2) at Deale Road (MD256)
- Solomons Island Road at Mt. Harmony Road
The SHA has determined that, on average, daily traffic volumes range from 10,000 vehicles per day near Mt. Harmony Road to nearly 20,000 north of Harwood Drive. According to the SHA open house announcement, these volumes are concentrated during morning and evening peak commuter times.
For that reason, the SHA has concluded that left turn lanes should be added at each of the five intersections. SHA said that the turn lanes should enhance safety along the corridor by “removing left-turning vehicles from the main line of traffic, reducing the potential of rear-end and angle collisions”
In addition, the shoulder on these roads will be widened on both sides in the areas of these intersections for better bicycle compatibility.
(more to the story after the map, please scroll down)
The project partially fulfills a request from the county executive. Back in April, Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold sent the State Highway Administrator, Melinda Peters, a letter that prioritized road upgrades in the county. For the most part, the letter focused on BRAC-related projects in west county, but toward the end of the list, Leopold’s letter asks for:
Solomons Island Road (MD2) from the Calvert County line to Central Avenue (MD 214). North-south travel is increasing along this roadway, but we do not wish to widen MD 2 beyond what is needed to safely accommodate turning movements at major intersections. We are seeking funds to identify and construct spot safety improvements throughout the corridor, and specifically:
- Between Owensville Road (MD 255) and Fairhaven Road (MD 423), we are seeking design and construction funds.
- At Mount Zion-Marlboro Road (MD 408) and Bayard Road (Md 422), we are seeking construction funds for a new slip ramp and design of long term improvements
- at Harwood Drive, we are seeking funds to improve safety
- At Owensville-Sudley Road, we are seeking funds to improve safety.
The informational meeting will provide information on the project. Display areas will be set up to show the anticipated operational and safety improvements, and SHA representatives will be available to discuss project issues and answer questions.
The project has been funded and includes right-of-way and utility relocations.
But not everyone in the county is happy about the changes SHA has in store. For the most part, the upgrades to the roadway will widen the road. One South County Civic organization is pushing for Route 2/Solomons Island Road to remain a two-lane rural road. They are concerned that it will increase speed and volume on the road and that it is incompatible with the Small Area Plan for South County.
SHA encourages interested parties to attend the meeting on Thursday. Residents are invited to walk through the development schematic at any time between 6 to 8 p.m.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 19 (Thursday) at the South County Library in Deale (5940 Deale-Churchton Road). If you can’t make the meeting but would like more information, contact Debra Russell at the State Highway Administration.