Options Proposed for Route 5 Improvements

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Options Proposed for Route 5 Improvements

Leonardtown, MD - 2/9/2012

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By Dick Myers

The Maryland State Highway Administration is considering several options for improvements to Route 5 (MD 5) in Leonardtown. There is, however, no money in the state budget to do anything beyond the current planning. There thus is no money for design, right-of-way acquisition or construction.

The town of Leonardtown has been pressing for a light at Abell Street/Moakley Street at Singletree development that is one entrance into St. Mary’s Hospital. The development   contains two medical office buildings, the headquarters for the St. Mary’s County Board of Education and a number of single-family homes. The state has consistently refused to approve a light there, saying it wasn’t warranted.
Instead the proposals under study by the state are:
·Alternative 1 – No Build (there alternative has been removed as the result of an open house held several years ago)
·Alternative 2 -- Spot improvements, such as adding or lengthening turn lanes.
·Alternative 3 – Five-Lanes, with a middle left and right turn lane.
·Alternative 4 – Four-Lane divided section with turn lanes at various locations and a landscaped median.
Alternatives 3 and 4 also have several options:
·Widening would occur on both sides of MD 5, except the area where the stream is located on the north side between Abell St. /Moakley St. and Clark’s Rest Lane. In that area the road would be widened only along the south side.
·Additional intersection improvements at MD 5/243 and MD 5/2455 by adding longer left turn lanes and adding a traffic light at MD 243 and Merchants Lane.
·Converting the existing right in/right out entrance at Leonardtown Centre to a significant intersection with double left turn lanes and prohibiting certain turns into Leonardtown Centre. The length of the left turn lanes on northbound MD 5 at MD 243 would be reduced.
The next step in the planning process is a location/design public hearing scheduled for some time this spring followed by the state’s response to the public hearing comments sometime this summer. .


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