Getting over it

January 26, 2012

The new configuration of the confluence of Tollgate Road, Route 24, I-95 and Route 924 is something of a minor marvel of modern engineering. It's probably what should have been built back when the plan was simply to build the modern incarnation of the new Route 24 to replace the old 24, now known as 924.

Still, better late than never. The multimillion dollar project, which has been in use for several weeks, is regarded by the Maryland State Highway Administration as a success because it seems to have resolved the problem of the rush hour back-ups of northbound traffic on I-95 at the Route 24 exit. That's the evaluation that was presented recently to the Abingdon Community Council by John Vananzo, an SHA engineer.

Largely, it seems to be true that commuters have become accustomed to the new traffic patterns, and the horrendous traffic bottleneck has been diminished. Before complete victory over the troubled intersection is declared, however, there are still some annoyances in the finished product. One of those is the traffic light at the end of the exit lane from northbound I-95 to northbound 24. The other is the criss-crossing traffic patterns between motorists traveling south on 24 trying to merge right to get onto I-95 south at the same time motorists coming off of Tollgate Road onto southbound Route 24 are trying to merge left to continue on past the I-95 entrance.

In the short term, the changes have helped. What will the long term effects be? Hard to say. In the short term, the project is something of a success. Success on such projects, however, can be fleeting.

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