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Category: Route 1

Officials Set to Announce Route 1 Pedestrian Safety Changes Today

A Route 1 intersection in old town (WTOP)

Representatives from the City, SHA, County and the University of Maryland will be making a major announcement this afternoon about pedestrian safety improvement on Route 1 in old town College Park.

Three people have been killed in the past six months at this small stretch of Route 1.

Officials have been considering a number of safety initiatives for several months, but recent fatal accidents have made them implementing some of these measures sooner.

SHA officials came to last week’s City Council worksession and many in the Council (including me) asked questions about these initiatives, in particular about the time frame to implement them.

Some of the initiatives that are expected to be announced at today’s announcements include

(1) lowering speed limit from 30 to 25 mph

(2) installing in block median barriers

(3) extending speed camera operation hour to late mid night

We expect to have these implemented by the time when the next school year will start this fall or even sooner.

We also expect to get a copy of the report on Route 1 pedestrian safety soon. SHA has been working with other stakeholders for sometime in preparing this report.

You can read more about the announcement here on the WTOP radio site

SHA to Resurface Part of Route 1 in North College Park

Route 1 resurface project in North College Park

Route 1 resurface project in North College Park

Representatives from the State Highway administration will be at tonight’s Council worksession to present a number of resurfacing and maintenance projects in and around College Park this year.

One of those projects includes the Route 1 resurfacing work in north College Park. The scope of the work ranges from Indian Lane to Hollywood Road. The SHA plans to patch, grind, and overlay existing roadway with asphalt. This is needed because the existing pavement condition is deteriorated and is in need of repair. Engineer’s Construction Estimate is about $120,000. This kind of project requires the services of asphalt paving contractors who can provide professional asphalt maintenance services.

The other maintenance projects that the SHA plans to do include (1) Resurfacing of US 193 from 23rd Ave. to the US 1 overpass (currently in design); (2) Resurfacing of US 193 from Rhode Island Ave. to South Way; (3) Resurfacing of Kenilworth Ave. from Good Luck Road to the Beltway; and (4) Resurfacing of US 430 (Greenbelt Road) from US 1 to US 193.

[UPDATE: The work is scheduled to begin this Spring and will take a few days to complete. All of the work will take place during night time and thus will cause minimum interruptions]

Route 1 Utility Undergrounding Discussion Continues..

On February 4, the consultant from KCI Technologies Inc. presented the results of its feasibility study to underground utilities on Route 1 from Lakeland Road and Greenbelt Road.

While it seems logical to plan an undergrounding project while the road is already under construction, the study estimates a total cost of $14 million and could extend the current Route1 reconstruction project by about 17 months, for a total project length of up to seven years. Since Route 1 is a state highway and not a city road, College Park wouldn’t necessarily be responsible for the entire $14 million, but it appears that no contributions from other stakeholders have been finalized so far. The State Highway Administration has also indicated that the state would not fund the undergrounding.

A meeting was held on January 28, 2014 with stakeholders from the city, county, state and CPCUP to begin to explore options for funding this cost. The first option of funding would utilize general obligation bonds sold separately by the city ($1 0,000,000) and county ($4,000,000) for this undergrounding project only.

The second option establishes a tax increment financing district along most of the Route 1 corridor, which would support this project as well as other revitalization projects and goals including possible undergrounding for the second phase of Route 1 improvements.

The SHA has stated that a decision by the city as to whether or not to pay for the undergrounding of utilities needs to be made by April1, 2014. The Council will discuss these options further ahead of SHA’s April 1st deadline.

Council to Discuss Undergrounding of Utility Lines on Route 1

Power lines on Route 1

Power lines on Route 1

In August last year, the City signed an agreement with the State Highway Administration (SHA) for the funding of a feasibility study for the undergrounding of utilities in conjunction with the design and construction of the first phase of improvements for the US Route 1 corridor. The SHA contracted with KCI Technologies Inc., to prepare the study, which has been completed.

The consultant will present the findings of the study at tomorrow’s worksession.

The limits of the proposed utility work are generally from Lakeland Road to Greenbelt Road and include 30 utility poles. There are 11 registered utility companies in the project area but the primary companies are PEPCO, Verizon and Comcast.

The consultant notified the utility companies of the study and obtained direct utility estimates from PEPCO and Verizon. The conceptual design for the underground system proposes installation along the centerline or median area of the roadway and utilization of an Advanced Utility Breakout Contract (AUBC).

This would be a separate contract in advance of the roadway construction contract. This approach has the potential of some cost savings to SHA but could take up to two years to complete. At this time, SHA has not begun to design for the aerial relocation of the utilities but has advised that this would commence on or about April 1, 2014 if a decision to underground has not been made.

The consultant’s field observations indicated potential challenges for the aerial relocation where new development has already occurred due to a potential lack of required clearance space. The total estimated cost for the design, construction and administration of the AUBC contract is $17,405,000.

SHA would subtract the aerial relocation cost that they would have incurred from this amount for a total cost to the city of $14,080,000. A meeting was held on January 28, 2014 with stakeholders from the city, county, state and CPCUP to begin to explore options for funding this cost.

The first option of funding would utilize general obligation bonds sold separately by the city ($1 0,000,000) and county ($4,000,000) for this undergrounding project only.

The second option establishes a tax increment financing district along most of the Route 1 corridor, which would support this project as well as other revitalization projects and goals including possible undergrounding for the second phase of Route 1 improvements.

The SHA has stated that a decision by the city as to whether or not to pay for the undergrounding of utilities needs to be made by April1, 2014.

Development Updates on Route 1 in North College Park

Gateway Park construction to start soon

I often get questions about the status of developments on and along Route 1, especially on the part that crosses north College Park. Here are a few things I think we can talk about.

1. Gateway Park: At the south side of Edgewood Road intersection, just south of Beltway, the construction of the Gateway Park will begin fairly soon, possibly in this year. The final design has been approved and we gave the contract to a landscaping firm to construct the park.

2. 9909 Baltimore Ave. (The Spooky House). On the north side of the Gateway Park, we’ve started working with the community to replace the current so called spooky house by something nice that our residents can enjoy. There are suggestions about turning this into a park using some unused grant money. A committee has been formed involving residents living int he area and looking into various options.

3. Down south on Route 1, we started working with the SHA to have signalized crosswalks at Cherryhill. The construction has been completed and the

4. Also, SHA has been working on a plan to build continuous sidewalk on east side of Route 1 from Cherry Hill to Cherokee. Representatives from the SHA came to the Council meeting back in June this year to talk about the plan. Please read more about that here. Several month ago, I took a walk along Route 1 in north College Park with our City engineer and Council member Wojahn to check the pedestrian safety issues there.

5. Removing Eyesores: Further in the South, we gave contracts to take down 2 eyesores, one at Cherokee street and another at Fox St. Please read more about these projects here.

6. Two new developments are coming to the area around Cherokee Street, formerly known as JPI East and JPI West development. Each will bring some 8000 sq ft of retails.

7. A little further down, the City worked with the state to get 20 million for the engineering work of re-development of Route 1 in the south of Rt 193. This is a good news because sooner this part is developed, sooner we can start working on part in north College Park.

SHA Plans to Build Sidewalk on Route 1 in North College Park

No side walk in sight - looking north on Route 1 near Beltway / Edgewood Rd

Representatives from SHA came to last Tuesday’s Council meeting to talk about sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvement of east side of Route 1 from Edgewood Road to Cherokee Street. The SHA plans to do the project in two phases. The first phase will cover the areas between Edgewood Road and Fox Street and the next phase will cover from Fox and Cherokee. The section of northbound US 1 from Cherokee Street to Fox Street is more challenging due to proposed retaining wall, and potential zoning ordinance issues to be handled as a separate project through a different funding source.

The SHA has identified two funding sources for this project that can potentially be used for this development. The funds will be shared across all State roads improvement, so the City will be approving a letter of support to SHA at tomorrow’s Council meeting to accelerate this development.

The North College Park Civic Association also approved a resolution at its last Thursday night’s meeting in support of this project.

As a condition to build the side walk, the City must indicate willingness to Maintain the sidewalk once it is constructed. The City will also help secure all necessary right-of-way or entry agreements to construct the sidewalk and provide public notice and opportunities for community involvement prior to construction of a sidewalk.

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