Traffic light on U.S. 29-Route 103 interchange to be eliminated Move means U.S. 29 will be free of signals for 10 miles

June 01, 1993|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff writer

For motorists who sit in rush-hour traffic jams on U.S. 29 at Route 103, there is a light at the end of the queue.

But not for long.

If good weather continues, and highway construction crews keep up their current pace, the traffic light at the interchange will be taken out by June 15, said Doug Rose, district engineer for VTC the State Highway Administration region that includes Howard County.

"I'm looking forward to it. That will eliminate a major bottleneck for a lot of the commuters from Howard County and from outside of the county," said County Executive Charles I. Ecker, himself a commuter on U.S. 29.

The traffic light is the only one on U.S. 29 between the Interstate 70 interchange and Columbia just south of Route 32. When it is removed, U.S. 29 will be free of lights for 10 miles.

The interchange will eventually serve as the western terminus of Route 100, which will meet U.S. 29 just south of Route 103 and St. John's Lane.

Removing the light will coincide with the opening of a ramp connecting Route 103 with northbound U.S. 29 and a ramp connecting St. John's Lane with southbound U.S. 29.

Within about two weeks, construction crews will divert a half-mile section of U.S. 29's northboun lanes onto the southbound side of the divided highway. The two northbound lanes will be separated from the southbound lanes by a concrete barrier.

The diversion will allow the completion of a new northbound lanes -- about 200 feet east of the current lanes -- that will connect with two Route 100 ramps and travel under two other ramps.

As work progresses on the interchange, SHA procurement officials

are reviewing the apparent low bid for the next section of Route 100.

Cherry Hill Construction Inc. of Jessup bid $2.14 million for a two-lane section of Route 100 that will connect the interchange with a segment being built by developer Patrick McCuan.

If Cherry Hill is awarded the contract, SHA officials expect work to begin Aug. 1.

The two segments are expected to be completed within a month or two of the Route 100 interchange, which is expected to be finished during spring 1994.

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