Traffic Flow To Be Altered At I-70 Park-and-ride Lot

July 30, 2009|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,

The State Highway Administration has announced plans to reconfigure traffic patterns between the park-and-ride lot at the eastern terminus of Interstate 70 and the Beltway to slow vehicles and deter illegal street racing.

The decision to rework that section of I-70, where low traffic volume at night often attracts racers and spectators, comes on the heels of a crash June 21 in which two people were killed and two critically injured after a vehicle that had apparently been racing went out of control and left the road.

Killed were spectators Mary-Kathryn Michele Abernathy, 21, of Columbia and Jonathan Robert Henderson, 20, of La Plata in Charles County

State highway officials will begin work Thursday to close one lane on the westbound stretch between the parking lot and the Beltway, where the crash took place. After that morning's rush hour, crews will place barriers so that motorists entering from Ingleside Avenue will no longer have a clear lane but will have to merge into the westbound lane leading from the park-and-ride. Workers also will change pavement markings and install reflective barriers.

Highway officials said the changes, made in cooperation with state police, will significantly reduce the attractiveness of the site for street racing without impeding normal traffic flow.

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