Task force reviews design for congested intersection

August 23, 1996|By Erica C. Harrington | Erica C. Harrington,SUN STAFF

The Snowden River Parkway-Route 175 task force Wednesday night reviewed the dispersed movement interchange as a way to alleviate expected congestion at the intersection.

Residents of Long Reach and Owen Brown villages want a more traditional interchange at the intersection to alleviate the increase in traffic there after the Columbia Crossing retail complex opens this fall.

The dispersed movement interchange -- in place at only two intersections in North America -- uses a series of timed signals to funnel left-turning cars away from the main intersection before making the left turn.

A video of one intersection in Toronto showed left-turning cars moving into the left lane and crossing on-coming lanes while the lanes were stopped. The cars then moved to an outer road that took them to a signal a few hundred feet to the left of the main intersection. The cars turned left from that point instead of through the main intersection.

If that intersection were used at Route 175 and Snowden River Parkway, drivers on Route 175 would make left turns north or south of the main intersection. Drivers on Snowden River Parkway would continue to make left turns through the main intersection.

Such an intersection -- which would cost about $4 million -- is the least expensive of the seven options being considered. The costs of other interchange options range from $13 million to $17.5 million. But village representatives were skeptical of the option because it is largely untested.

The task force has studied a partial cloverleaf, a full diamond interchange, a single point urban diamond and a diamond/cloverleaf at previous meetings and will look at two types of roundabout interchanges at its next meeting Sept. 4 at the Board of Utilities Building, 8270 Old Montgomery Road.

The task force hopes to make a recommendation by the end of next month.

Pub Date: 8/23/96

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