Transportation Officials Seek Funding for Improvements in Frederick CountyMay 1, 2019
The portion of U.S. 15 that runs through Frederick County is a lifeline for the city. According to county officials, it is crucial to the economic and transportation needs of the county. However, the road is in dire need of improvements that will make the road safer and less congested. Transportation officials sent a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) requesting they approve the appropriate funding for several safety improvement projects.
The letter requested funding for the following projects:
- Construction funding for U.S. 15 between Interstate 70 and Md. 26
- Design funding for widening and reconstructing Md. 85 from Ballenger Creek to Guilford Drive. This would create a six-lane divided road between Spectrum Drive and Guilford Drive, incorporating pedestrian, bicycle, and streetscape improvements. From Executive Way to south of Ballenger Creek, a four-lane divided road would be created. A new bridge would be built over the creek as well.
- Plan funding for widening Md. 194 from Md. 26 to Devilbiss Bridge Road through Walkersville. This project would widen the existing road from two lanes to four. Phase one of the project would take place between Md. 26 and Walkersville High School.
While the above projects are the three major road projects that are top priority, officials requested funding for other projects as well, including road system preservation, local bus transit, MARC commuter rail, off-street paths and sidewalks, and a range of projects at Frederick Municipal Airport. Additional projects listed in the letter included the following:
- Southbound auxiliary lane on U.S. 15 between Md. 26 and Motter Avenue
- Extending on-ramps on U.S. 340 at Md. 17 and Md. 180
- Lengthening the acceleration lane from northbound U.S. 15 to eastbound U.S. 340
- Expanding the county’s TransIT-plus program
- Adding three to four electric transit buses each year over the next three years
- Additional funding to increase the frequency of the system’s connector service
According to the director of TransIT Services of Frederick County, 50 percent of public transit funding comes from federal funding; 25 percent from the state, and 25 percent from local funds. However, the funds are not allocated this way for TransIT-plus paratransit service. The state provided roughly $159,000 over the years, which means the county is responsible for an increasing percentage of the funding. With the growing number of seniors needing to get to doctor appointments, and other engagements, it is crucial that the roads are safe.
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