The widening of Route 175 — the principal access route to growing Fort George G. Meade — has been in the forefront of regional transportation priorities for more than 10 years, since the announcement of the Base Realignment and Closure of 2005.
A major commuter corridor across multiple jurisdictions, as well as Fort Meade’s major access road, various elements, phases and projects have been broken out and moved forward in study, planning, design and, if funded, into implementation. At a recent public meeting, Robert Rager from the State Highway Administration (SHA), along with county officials, presented an update.
The projects discussed included the following.
- Route 175 corridor study (from Route 295 to Route 32)
- Route 175 intersection improvements from Ridge/Rockenbach roads to Disney Road/26th Street (2014)
- Route 175 intersection improvements from Reece Road to Mapes Road/Charter Oaks Boulevard (2014–18)
- Route 175 widening from Reece Road to Disney Road (2016)
- Route 175/Route 295 interchange (2018)
- Route 198 project planning study (from Route 295 to Route 32)
Through the efforts of Maryland’s Congressional delegation, funds were secured for the Reece-to-Disney project, which will widen sections of Route 175 (the northern boundary of Fort Meade) between Route 295 and areas just west of Route 170.
The westernmost portion of that roadway was completed in 2014, but Route 175 narrows to a single lane just prior to the Reece Road intersection, one of the installation’s primary security access points. The SHA has designed several alternatives, with input from the installation, other interested stakeholders and the local community, and have settled on a single option. That option is now scheduled to be completed in early 2018.
It includes not only the widening of the road, but additional turn lanes into the installation for eastbound drivers along Route 175. Today, those drivers need to wait through two or three traffic signals during peak hours just to turn across the intersection. Also, major utility lines must be relocated on both sides of Route 175 and the excavated soil on the south side of the artery on Fort Meade property needs to be transferred to a secure location on the installation for environmental reasons.
Details of the project plan are available via the SHA and Rager at [email protected]. Roadway and intersection diagrams are available as well; live traffic conditions in the Fort Meade region are available via www.chart.maryland.gov, which also will be the source for information during construction.
Finally, any commuters traveling to the Fort Meade region who would like more information about commuting by transit, train, carpool, vanpool, bike or walking can access information on those options at www.meaderide.com or call the BWI Business Partnership at 410-859-1000.
Linda Greene is the executive director of the BWI Business Partnership. She can be contacted at 410-859-1000 and [email protected].