Congested interchange slated for overhaul

$12 million project to ease Annapolis-area traffic

April 16, 2003|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

One of the most congested intersections in the Annapolis area is about to undergo a $12 million facelift.

Later this month, workers will begin reconfiguring the interchange of U.S. 50, Route 450 and Route 2 (Solomons Island Road) in Parole - all major roads leading into Annapolis from Anne Arundel County's suburbs.

Last week, workers began clearing the road of debris and they're expected to begin construction by month's end, said State Highway Administration spokeswoman Kellie Boulware.

"There is a high degree of congestion in that area, period," Boulware said. "Anything we can do will be a welcome change."

Anne Arundel County is contributing $10 million to the project, which will include new ramp movements between Route 2 and U.S. 50 and a new merge lane on U.S. 50 between Riva Road and Route 2.

Motorists traveling north on Route 2 who pass West Street now only have the option of getting on eastbound U.S. 50 toward the Bay Bridge. With the change, they'll also be able to take a ramp that goes under U.S. 50, connecting either to the highway's westbound lanes or to Jennifer Road (and the Anne Arundel Medical Center area).

The plan also calls for a hiker-biker trail along Route 2 between Jennifer and Somerville Roads, and a road extension and ramp from Jennifer Road that goes under U.S. 50 and connects to the highway's eastbound lanes.

The project is expected to ease traffic to the Medical Parkway intersection leading to the medical center.

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens said the chance to ease congestion at the medical center was a major reason for the county's investment in the project. In addition to being the main point of access for the hospital, the interchange carries beachgoers to the Bay Bridge and state employees to offices in the state capital. According to State Highway Administration statistics, 130,000 motorists use the interchange every day.

During the construction, drivers can expect single- and double-lane closures on all three roads at night and in the early morning hours.

Daytime ramp shifts on U.S. 50 are scheduled between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Bright arrows, cones and barrels will alert drivers to changes and guide them through new traffic patterns.

The state expects the project to be completed in the spring of 2005.

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