Fort Smallwood Rd. traffic targeted

July 07, 1995|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,Sun Staff Writer

County Executive John G. Gary wants to build a new road to link Fort Smallwood Road with Route 100 and ease congestion in the Fort Smallwood Road corridor.

The road would be included as part of his plan for golf courses on both sides of Fort Smallwood Road, Mr. Gary has told community groups.

Public works engineers have begun looking into the feasibility of building the road, Steven Cover, director of planning and code enforcement, said yesterday. The cost would be split among the county and the developers of two planned subdivisions, he said.

The proposed two-lane road would run south from a bus lot and garage owned by the county school board to Mountain Road, Mr. Cover said. It would split the two subdivisions planned along the south side of Fort Smallwood Road across from Tar Cove Park.

The county must acquire all or part of the land owned by the school board before it can build the road, Mr. Cover said, adding that it would be several years before the road could be built.

Ralph Luther, director of facilities management for the school board, said the county has not approached the board about buying the land.

"Right now we've not entered any discussions with anybody about changing anything," he said. "I think that as those discussions with developers progress, there will probably be some discussions with the county." The road would give residents of Poplar Ridge, Chandler Point and neighboring communities quicker access to Route 100, one of two major roads off the Pasadena peninsula.

Residents who live along the far eastern end of Fort Smallwood Road say they need another road in that area because development is coming quickly and the two-lane Fort Smallwood Road is becoming inadequate. An accident or emergency on the main artery can halt traffic for hours.

Mr. Gary's idea is similar to one proposed in 1993 by W. Ray Huff, then a state delegate, who asked the State Highway Administration to extend Route 100 through Pasadena to Fort Smallwood Road.

O. James Lighthizer, then transportation secretary, turned down the proposal because the road was not listed as a priority in the county's General Development Plan.

At the same time, the SHA recommended that the county try to get developers to pay for the road as the area was developed.

County Councilman Thomas W. Redmond said he supports Mr. Gary's proposal because Hog Neck and Fort Smallwood roads are congested during rush hours.

"It really needs to be done if that area is going to be developed," he said. "Hog Neck Road can't hold any more cars. I don't want to see the Fort Smallwood peninsula become another Mountain Road."

Mr. Huff, who lives on the eastern end of Fort Smallwood Road, said he would be happy to see another access route.

"The lower part of Fort Smallwood could use it, and the people going to the golf course could go right in there," he said. "It would be great."

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