ANNAPOLIS — Widening U.S. 15 from Interstate 70 to Md. 26 will remain the Frederick County delegation’s top highway construction priority.
“That’s the lifeline Main Street for Frederick. We have tremendous community support for that,” county traffic engineer Ron Burns told the delegation.
The plan, a break-out project from an Interstate 270/U.S. 15 transportation study, would widen the highway from four to six lanes. The project is expected to remain in the planning phase until at least late 2019.
Each year, counties provides their transportation priorities to the state in order to secure state funding and, if appropriate, begin working with U.S. representatives to set aside federal dollars.
Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner and Burns presented draft priorities before the delegation Friday.
The delegation generally agreed with the priorities, but Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3) suggested adding at least one weekend MARC train trip to the wish list. Burns noted that it used to be on the list, and agreed to add it back to keep it in the county’s discussions with the Maryland Department of Transportation.
At Gardner’s request, the delegation also decided to move a project to add a left-turn lane and traffic light at Md. 26 and Old Annapolis Road/Water Street to the second-highest system preservation priority. Burns said that the intersection had a higher-than-average crash rate.
The top system preservation goal will remain a multi-project improvement to U.S. 15 from Biggs Ford Road to the Pennsylvania line.
Frederick County’s second overall transportation priority will be reconstructing Md. 85 north of Crestwood Boulevard to widen it to a multi-lane divided highway from Crestwood Boulevard/Shockley Drive to Spectrum Drive.
At a press conference Thursday, Gardner announced that construction of that project was fully funded.
The third priority is to start preliminary planning for a project to widen Md. 194 from two lanes to four from Md. 26 to Frederick Road.
The priorities were further split into several categories: primary and secondary highways, local and regional transit as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
The top local transit priority would be a $69,000 investment in TransIT-plus paratransit service to expand service hours to 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to help meet growing demand.
Krimm has a bill in to establish a commission to study the transportation of dialysis patients.
The delegation set a platform at the Point of Rocks station as the highest regional transit priority. Building a new platform would allow Frederick branch MARC trains to stop there.