Clarksburg group supports M-83 extension -- Gazette.Net


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The Clarksburg Civic Association says it supports the Mid-County Highway expansion plans north from Montgomery Village to Md. 27.

The Montgomery County Council is considering possible routes with the goal of relieving traffic on Md. 355 and Interstate 270.

The association-supported alternative would involve widening existing roads and building new sections to extend the Mid-County Highway (M-83) from Montgomery Village Avenue (Md. 124) to Brink Road and Ridge Road (Md. 27) in Clarksburg.

From there it would connect to the as-yet incomplete Snowden Farm Parkway running northwest through Clarksburg to eventually connect to Md. 355 north of the growing community.

“It seems like the most direct path,” said civic association President Barry Fantle on Tuesday. “It’s been on the books for decades, and a lot of the right-of-way has already been acquired.”

“It gives us another option for getting to the Metro and the Germantown area, and it alleviates traffic on Md. 355 and I-270,” he said. “If you build the town [Clarksburg] without the roads, you get all this congestion.”

Clarksburg resident Betty Forrest, a member of the association, agreed with Fantle.

“My answer to this is infrastructure, infrastructure and more infrastructure,” she wrote in an email to The Gazette. “M-83 has been on the books since 1960, and all recent development in Clarksburg was approved assuming the roadway would be constructed.”

“If we want companies to come here and provide employment which will improve our economy, we must start to plan and build the infrastructure needed to support the growing northern communities now,” wrote Forrest.

County residents had a chance to talk about their preferred options at a hearing on Aug. 7 at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown.

Hosted by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Army Corps of Engineers, the hearing was to take testimony on the county’s application for wetlands permits to complete the long-planned road.

The public has until Aug. 21 to submit written opinions to the MDE and the Corps of Engineers about the alternatives.

For addresses, route maps and more information, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/midcountycorridorstudy.

The site also includes a 10-minute video showing the alternative routes on road maps of the study area.

verhune@gazette.net