Highway officials study community suggestion Second lane requested on part of Telegraph Road

March 26, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

State Highway Administration officials are reviewing a community request to add a second northbound lane on Telegraph Road between Route 174 and Route 100 in Severn.

The proposal includes creating a right-turn lane on southbound Route 713 at Annapolis Road, and conducting new traffic counts at that intersection and at Route 174 and Telegraph Road.

Ideas for the improvements sprung from suggestions community members gave to traffic officials in a meeting last month of the Greater Severn Improvement Association.

Community members discussed with SHA traffic engineers the bottlenecks and snarls at almost every major intersection in the Severn area.

One of the ideas that sparked the interest of Lawrence E. Elliott, assistant district engineer for traffic, was the community petition to widen the portion of Telegraph Road that will take motorists to and from the new Route 100 interchange by making the shoulders travel lanes.

Mr. Elliott said the decades-old shoulders would have to be repaved and curbing and gutters added before they could support traffic.

Two portions of the northbound shoulder were improved by commercial and residential contractors when they built entrances to their projects. It would cost about $100,000 to complete the job, Mr. Elliott said.

The highway administration might be able to cut costs on the project by working with the company building the nearby portion of Route 100, because it has equipment and manpower on site.

If the state cannot work out a deal with the company, the project might prove too expensive for the state, he said.

Improvements to the northbound shoulder are not part of the current state budget, and could not be budgeted before fiscal year 1999, Mr. Elliott said.

The southbound shoulder has had no recent improvements and could cost two to three times as much as the northbound side, he estimated.

"We looked at the northbound lane because it would have a more realistic chance of getting done," Mr. Elliott said.

Michael Shylanski, president of the Greater Severn Improvement Association, said his group also is concerned about other trouble spots and the bridge on Route 174 that crosses Interstate 97.

Southbound cars leaving Severn neighborhoods travel down the shoulder of Route 713 each morning to a point where the road briefly widens at the Annapolis Road intersection.

Motorists who want to make a right on Annapolis Road are in danger of being struck by a vehicle going straight ahead, the residents said.

They said northbound motorists on Telegraph Road encounter the same problem at the Route 174 intersection, and rush-hour motorists on the four-lane Route 174 reach a bottleneck when they are forced to squeeze across the two-lane bridge that carries them over Interstate 97.

Workers are conducting new traffic counts at Route 713 and Annapolis Road and Route 174 and Telegraph Road that will be finished next month to compare with ones taken last summer, Mr. Elliott said.

The figures will give highway administration officials an idea on whether road changes are needed.

In the meantime, workers are expected to change the right southbound lane on Route 713 from a straight and right-turn lane to a right-turn-only lane next month, but because the work depends on having consistently good weather, Mr. Elliott did not have a specific date for the project to begin.

He said the bridge division of the State Highway Administration is considering repaving and widening the bridge.

Pub Date: 3/26/96

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