The State Highway Administration came to this week’s City Council meeting and made its annual presentation to the Council about the ongoing projects the SHA and the MDOT (Maryland Department of Transportation) are currently working on.

These projects include:

(a) Improvement of the intersection at MD 430 Greenbelt Rd at Rhode Island Ave:
The City of College Park requested SHA to evaluate the installation of medians at the subject location to further calm traffic and provide refuge areas for those crossing MD 430. This would eliminate the pedestrian and bicyclist crash pattern at the access for the College Park Trolley Trail. The project proposes to install medians along MD 430 from west of Rhode Island Avenue to west of MD 193 (University Boulevard). Additionally, small sidewalk improvements are needed to address the permanent closure of the south leg of Rhode Island Avenue. The project is currently in construction with an anticipated completion date of Spring 2020.

(b) Improvement of the intersection MD 193 at Rhode Island Ave Project :
The proposed improvements will extend the left turn lane of eastbound MD 193 by 200’, provide an additional thru lane on westbound MD 193, and extend the southbound right turn lane on Rhode Island Avenue by 300’. A traffic study was completed, and the current configuration does not have the capacity to support the vehicles traveling through the intersection. Currently, this project is on hold indefinitely.

(c) The crosswalk/pedestrian signal project at Cherry Hill Rd and US 1:
The NTP on the project occurred on 9/15/19. The completion is expected to be late Winter/early Spring 2020.

(d) US 1 signal operations/synchronization:
No operations related complaints for US 1 have been received. All signals on US 1 from the DC line to Hollywood Ave have been upgraded with 3G/4G cellular communication and in SHA’s Centracs ATMS. This gives the SHA continuous monitoring of the signals, alarms for critical failures, split and cycle logs and the ability to make timing changes quickly. So if an intersection goes into flash the SHA gets a pop-up alarm and if someone complains our team can review logs to see exactly what was going on. The signal shop also upgraded the intersections along MD 193 in preparation for the UMD-Penn State game. We have gone from about 250 intersections upgraded statewide last year to over 700 now. For the UMD-Penn State game cell modems were installed at the key intersections along MD 193 in preparation of the game. Standard PM timing plans were used for the noon campus dismissal. Then at 3 PM, we switched to standard AM timing plans to get fans into the game. There were a few small problems and a few adjustments were made on the fly, but we essentially stuck to this plan. We are still assessing the outcome, but it appears that we were successful

(e) The Beltway I-495 & I-270 expansion project with the Public, Private Partnership Program (P3) Program:
Last Wednesday, State’s Board of Public Works (BPW) voted in favor of expanding Beltway at the American Legion Bridge and the part of the beltway up to I 270, and part of I-270 to I-370. This happened after Gov Hogan secured a key vote from Comptroller Franchot, who expressed concerns earlier about the $11 billion project to expand the entire beltway in Maryland.