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.

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