Route 100 Construction Begins

Tortuous History Spans Three Decades

1991: The Year In Review

December 29, 1991|By Erik Nelson

9 More than 30 years after it was first proposed to connect Ellicott City with Interstate 95 in Elkridge, construction began on state Route 100 in September.

But as anyone familiar with the road's history might expect, it was not an easy birth.

First, money was the big holdup, as state legislators balked at increasing a gasoline tax in the spring and the governor ordered a halt to new road projects. The General Assembly raised motor vehicle fees during a special summer session, enabling the start of constructionon Route 100's gateway at U.S. 29 and Route 103.

The intersectionwill link the two-lane Route 100, later to be widened to four lanes,to both U.S. 29 and Route 103. An overpass will eliminate the traffic light on U.S. 29.

The same week the start of the project was announced, State Highway Administration representatives were meeting with residents of eight homes in Hunt Country Estates, which would have abutted Route 100 near Old Montgomery Road.

The residents were told the highway, initially four lanes and later expanded to six, would have displaced too much of the federally-protected wetlands of Deep Run stream. To avoid destroying waterfowl habitat and vital pollution filters, two Hunt Country Estates homes would be razed and six otherswould be severely impacted.

In late November, those homeowners went on the offensive, presenting to a host of county, state and federal officials a new plan for for Route 100 that avoids the wetlands.

The plan drew immediate opposition from the 588-unit Villages of Montgomery Run condominiums, which would have its access to Route 108 (and alternate access) cut off by the plan.

The plan would also likely result in the loss of several homes along Route 108, and re-routing of access to the new Ashton Woods apartment complex.

The SHA is considering that option, along with several others, and will likely seek approval from the County Council before it decides how to proceedwith Route 100.

Those difficulties will not affect the construction of the interchange at U.S. 29, which is slated for completion in late 1993.

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