Two months after it was due to be made public, a government report on how to fix a clogged Columbia intersection is still caught in bureaucratic traffic.
State officials -- on a government-citizen task force that studied the intersection of Route 175 and Snowden River Parkway -- blame the delay in the release of the report on holiday vacations and time demands of other projects.
Gene Straub, a state highway official and member of the task force, said he expects the final report to be released within two weeks.
The substance of the report is expected to be the same as first disclosed in October.
The six community activists on the task force will recommend building a $13 million diamond-style overpass immediately. Government engineers on the task force will recommend the same overpass, but want to wait until at least 1999 -- when Route 100 is to fully open between Interstate 95 and U.S. 29.
Route 100 will run parallel to Route 175 and is expected to pull some traffic from Route 175. The engineers argue that Route 100 could push the need for improvements at Route 175 and Snowden River Parkway well into the next decade.
In east Columbia's Long Reach village, community activists are upset about the report's delay -- as they have been over many aspects of the intersection project.
"The [Long Reach] village board has concerns that the delay in completing the final report further delays a project that in July 1995 was represented as the county's highest priority," said Cecilia Januszkiewicz, chairwoman of the Long Reach Village Board.
The activists say that in 1995 Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker promised he would build an expensive overpass at the intersection -- and Ecker is reneging on that promise.
Ecker denies promising the intersection, saying it was one of many projects on a yearly construction budget that is always subject to change.
Pub Date: 1/07/97