Major safety and capacity improvements address Howard County’s top transportation priority
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today cut the ribbon on a wider, safer MD 32 in Howard County, marking the completion of his transformation from a two-way, undivided highway to a four-lane highway between the MD 108 and the I-70. The project, carried out by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) in two phases, improves safety and eases traffic congestion for tens of thousands of residents and commuters who use the MD 32 corridor each day.
“For eight years, our administration has worked hard to improve the future of transportation in Maryland, making it easier to travel from the east coast to west Maryland along the I-95 corridor between our nation’s capital and Baltimore, and beyond,” Governor Hogan said. “The delivery of this critical MD 32 project is further testament to that, and it’s just one more shining example that together we’ve changed Maryland for the better.”
Today’s event marked the completion of the second and final phase of the project, a 6.6 mile section of MD 32 between Linden Church Road and I-70. This $127.7 million phase began in the summer of 2019 and widened MD 32 from a two-lane highway to a four-lane highway separated by a median strip and shoulders. Currently, approximately 23,500 vehicles travel this section of MD 32 daily, and traffic is expected to increase to an average of 41,000 vehicles per day by 2042.
Other work completed in this phase of the project includes:
- Replacement of the Triadelphia Highway Bridge over MD 32, which had been a poorly rated structure, as part of the administration’s commitment to repair or replace all 69 structurally deficient bridges it inherited;
- Construction of the new Terrapin Road, connecting the community of Vistaview to MD 144 (Frederick Road); and
- Reforestation projects and construction of swales to filter and manage stormwater before it enters the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The first phase of the MD 32 project, which included the 2.5-mile widening of MD 32 from MD 108 to Linden Church Road, was announced by Governor Hogan in 2016. Construction of the $40.9 million phase dollars began in the summer of 2017 and was completed in the summer of 2019. Howard County contributed $17.4 million towards the cost of the first phase.
The Governor was joined for today’s inauguration by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. and MDOT Administrator SHA , Tim Smith.
“The expansion of MD 32 is a tremendous achievement and a testament to our tremendous workforce and our partnership with Howard County,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. “Both phases will improve safety and reduce congestion along this busy suburban road.”
MD 32 is a vital commuter link for civilian and military workers at Maryland’s largest employer, Fort George G. Meade. Prior to Project MD 32, commuters in Howard and Carroll counties faced daily traffic congestion as well as safety issues.
Dividing the highway improves safety by greatly reducing the risk of frontal collisions, which are among the most serious. All types of accidents, including rear-end collisions and frontal collisions, were reduced during the first phase of the project, from 34 accidents in total between 2014 and 2016 to 16 accidents between 2019 and 2021.