Bowie leaders: Annapolis Road needs help now -- Gazette.Net


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A stretch of Annapolis Road in Bowie is constantly jammed with traffic — and as officials again urge the State Highway Administration to fund an expansion, the long wait has them frustrated.

“We will argue for our share and our priorities,” said Bowie Mayor G. Frederick Robinson.

For at least a decade, Bowie officials have sought funding from the state to expand the state road, also known as Md. 450, from Stonybrook Drive to Crain Highway from a two-lane road into a four-lane road, with two lanes traveling in each direction. The request has sat on Prince George’s County’s project priority list but has not received the state funding needed for construction, Robinson said. Since the road is owned by the state, the state is responsible for handling expansion.

The roadway’s traffic is expected to double by 2030 from the current 26,700 vehicles daily to 58,850 vehicles daily, said Joseph Meinert, Bowie’s Department of Planning director.

The SHA, which would handle the project if funded, receives county project priorities for state highways each year, and there are a lot of factors when the state selects different projects from different counties, said David Buck, SHA spokesman. The Annapolis Road project would cost up to $70 million for funding through construction, Buck said.

“Obviously the need is going to outweigh the funding available,” Buck said. “It is going to depend on what the elected [officials] send to us. But then again, there is no guarantee.”

Other projects ahead of Bowie have been on the priority list for several years and they recently received funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, said Aubrey Thagard, the county executive’s assistant deputy chief administrative officer. However, deliberations on the project list for fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015 have not begun yet, and county priorities will be determined based on need, cost and economic development among other things, Thagard said.

“Anything is possible at this point and time,” Thagard said.

Bowie hasn’t been completely forgotten, another major city construction project, an expansion of Md. 197, also known as Collington Road, near Kenhill Drive received $11 million in funding for engineering. Construction funding for Collington Road has not yet been provided, Meinert said, adding that there was a lot of money announced in the $650 million Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 earlier this year, “and none of it came here.”

“Everyone agrees that it has to be done,” Robinson said.

ccook@gazette.net