- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
By this summer, the Maryland State Highway Administration expects to have started roadwork to improve conditions at the intersection of routes 5 and 925 in Waldorf.
SHA held a meeting Thursday evening in the cafeteria at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf to present the proposed changes to the community. Ultimately, SHA Project Manager Marissa Lampart said, the proposed changes will have more of an effect on Route 5 (Leonardtown Road) than 925 (Old Washington Road).
Lampart said the affected area for construction will extend from 50 feet east of the train tracks crossing Route 5 to 100 feet west of the Route 925 intersection. Proposed changes include a 350-foot right turn lane on Route 5’s northbound side onto 925, a 5-foot-wide bicycle lane on Route 5’s northbound side, upgraded sidewalks, traffic signals and road resurfacing.
Charles County Planning and Growth Management Chief of Resource and Infrastructure Management Jason Groth said the county originally requested the state fund work extending up to Post Office Road, but given the economic climate, this was the most the state could fund.
“While a lot of the puzzle pieces are not ideal in the current situation, ultimately this can come together nicely,” Groth said, adding that he felt the proposed changes “complemented” the Waldorf Urban Design plan nicely. “While it doesn’t have every element, it still helps us get there.”
The Waldorf Urban Design plan is the county’s plan to make Waldorf into a viable high-density urban center, and aims to make the area able to support the proposed future light rail. It also focuses on improving the overall quality of streets and other public amenities along Route 925.
Lampart said the cost of the project is around $2 million, a price tag she described in a follow-up phone interview as “lower end compared to other projects like this because it’s fairly small” in scope. Lampart said officials expect to have the project’s right of way completed in May, at which point they will look for contractors to do the work. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2014 or early 2015.
Former Charles County Commissioner Gary V. Hodge, who attended the meeting, said he feels the project is a step in the right direction, mirroring Groth’s sentiments.
“It’s an improvement,” Hodge said. “It’s a first step toward improving Route 5, the flow and efficiency. It’s good that the state has begun work, but it isn’t the full scope we need to see to improve it.”
Waldorf resident Bill Roman, who said he frequently drives along Route 925, said he expected the proposed changes to focus equally on the two roads, rather than putting the majority of the construction on Route 5.
“I thought it would be a more comprehensive redesign than just focusing on Route 5,” Roman said. “It’s of minimal benefit to me, but I do understand the money situation.”