The initial stages of planning for improvements to Boyers Mill Road go back decades, but residents on the southern end of the project will be waiting a bit longer for it to be completed.
The northern portion of the project, stretching from Gas House Pike to Lake Linganore, is virtually complete, said Jason Stitt, head of the county’s Office of Engineering.
The remainder of the project, from the lake to Old National Pike, is almost completely designed, but construction likely won’t start until mid-2020.
“It’s going to be a little while before we finish construction,” Stitt said.
The $26.8 million project is necessary to meet increasing traffic in the area, according to an entry in the county’s fiscal 2020-2025 proposed capital improvement plan.
The county is about halfway done with acquiring rights of way for the southern portion of the project, while the project is about 95 percent designed, Stitt said.
Even once the southern portion of the project is finished, roads in the area will probably struggle to keep up with the traffic coming from development that has been approved in that part of the county, said County Councilman Steve McKay, who represents the area.
Much of that development will feed onto Boyers Mill Road, increasing the challenge for traffic in the area, he said.
Thankfully, construction hasn’t begun at several of the developments that have been approved, he said.
“We have a lot of challenges” regarding traffic issues in that part of the county, McKay said.
Ultimately, the project will involve reconstructing the road to repair some pavement that is deteriorating, straightening some curves and smoothing some areas, among other activities.
The work will also include widening shoulders to provide areas for bicyclists and room for drivers who may swerve off the road slightly to regain their bearing.
Along with the northern portion of the project, the overall work included replacing the bridge over Lake Linganore, which Stitt said was broken out as its own separate phase of the project.
Work on the bridge began in 2016.
It will likely be at least May 2020 before construction will begin on the southern portion, Stitt said.
It’s just the latest delay in a project that has stretched on for years.
Some of the preliminary studies for the Boyers Mill Road project began in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
“Some of these projects take a long time to develop,” Stitt said.