The second Phase of Rt. 32 widening (Linden Church north to Rt. 144) should begin in late 2019 and will require the closure of the Triadelphia Rd. bridge for material period of time with few detour options.  This closure will be inconvenient for residents and costly for the Ten Oaks businesses.  This is a State Highway (SHA) project (not a County road).  Questions have been raised by the community regarding alternatives which prompted the below email from the SHA engineer.  Options are still being explored so we will continue to advocate for alternatives and keep the community informed:

Thank you for your continued interest in the project.  The MDOT SHA has evaluated many alternatives with respect to the construction phasing and maintenance of traffic for the Triadelphia Road Bridge, including Accelerated Bridge Construction.  It is important to note that accelerated technologies are not applicable to all projects and can provide varying benefit depending on the project specific constraints.  The example that you provide of Nursery Road over MD 295 is not directly applicable to the Triadelphia Road bridge replacement.  That construction was achieved using Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) technology, which would not be the preferred method of placement for Triadelphia Road.  Additionally, Nursery Road utilized the existing bridge abutments, which enabled the construction duration to be limited to a single weekend closure for each span.  With the widening and lengthening of the Triadelphia Road bridge, it is not possible to utilize the existing abutments, making it infeasible to complete the bridge construction within such a short timeframe.

 For a site and bridge type like Triadelphia Road over MD 32, the Accelerated Bridge Construction technology with the greatest potential advantage is slide-in bridge construction, similar to the Wired article in your email.  This would allow the new bridge deck to be constructed and slid into place without impacting traffic for that portion of construction.  However, there are several constraints in the MD 32 project that limit the potential benefit of this construction technique.  First, the Triadelphia Road Bridge will be substantially longer than the existing bridge in order to accommodate the new lanes for southbound MD 32.  Additionally, the bridge is being built within the footprint of the existing bridge.  The longer bridge will require the complete demolition of the existing bridge, abutments, and the construction of new bridge abutments and piers (substructure).  This is a process that will take several months.  The substructure construction would require a complete detour of the Triadelphia Road bridge and would still impact school traffic.  The full detour during the bridge demolition and substructure construction would be more impactful than the phased single lane bridge, albeit for a shorter duration.  This impact, along with the anticipated cost premium of the slide-in construction method, led MDOT SHA to pursue conventional construction methods.

 The MDOT SHA also evaluated the potential to connect the Burntwoods Road interchange to Triadelphia Road in some form, but there is no logical connecting point that does not have significant impacts to the school grounds or private property.  Rosemary Lane provides a similar access to any potential connection from Burntwoods Road, limiting the potential benefit of a new access road.  Additionally, the detour required for the eastbound movement is approximately 4.5 miles, with an anticipated added travel time of eight to ten minutes for a period of approximately twelve months between Summer 2019 and Summer 2020.  Please see the attached visual for the anticipated detour.  The relative impacts of a proposed access road were significant, leading MDOT SHA to pursue a detour utilizing existing roadways.

 Concerning utilizing a portion of MD 32 for the detour, MDOT SHA has planned for additional strategies to ensure work zone safety for this project.  The work zone will be required to maintain one full shoulder width in one direction and a 2-foot offset from the edge of travel lane to the temporary barrier in the opposite direction under two-way traffic operation.   We are also planning to deploy automated speed enforcement along with a five mph speed reduction for the entire duration of the project.   Additionally, we will not permit wide loads to travel through the work zone during construction on MD 32.

 Ultimately, the Triadelphia Road bridge construction methods, timelines, and detour will be determined by the Design-Build proposal evaluation and selection.  The Design-Build proposers will be evaluated on their construction durations for the Triadelphia Road bridge, as well as any alternative or innovative construction methods that minimize detour duration or impact.  The possibility for Accelerated Bridge Construction is incorporated into the RFP, and its inclusion in the project will be determined by the Design-Build proposals.  The Design-Builder with the least impactful construction impacts related to the Triadelphia Road bridge will be more likely to be awarded the contract.  The exact construction methods, phasing, timelines, and impacts will be presented to the public in early 2019, after the Design-Builder is selected but prior to construction activities.


Hearings regarding the 234-unit age-restricted Bethany Glen development proposed for the Harbin property adjacent to Valley Mede/Bethgate will resume on March 7 in the George Howard Building (main County office next to police HQ).  This is a significant development project consisting of detached homes, townhomes and condominiums proposed for the farm that sits to the north and south of Rt. 70 betwen Bethgate and Rt. 99 (just east of Bethany Lane).  This farm is currently zoned for detached homes on half acre lots like the rest of that community, but the developer is seeking the County’s approval for higher density age-restricted housing through the Conditional Use process.  This case not only affects the residents of these existing communities, it sheds light on how the age-restricted housing Conditional Use is frequently used as vehicle to shoehorn high density into an existing neighborhood.  Please try to attend so you can become informed on this project and how it might affect your neighborhood.  Here is a December Baltimore Sun article about the project: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/ellicott-city/ph-ho-cf-bethany-glen-hearing-examiner-1214-story.html and the Technical Staff Report issued by the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/ellicott-city/ph-ho-cf-bethany-glen-hearing-examiner-1214-story.html  


Improvements to Rt. 99 between Marriottsville Rd. and Rt. 29 are being studied and public input is welcomed.  Several weeks ago the the County and SHA held a joint meeting regarding improvements to address traffic and safety concerns along ROUTE 99.  Because Rt. 99 is a State highway, the County needs to petition SHA for improvements, which process County Executive Kittleman has begun by including Rt. 99 study in the County’s annual “priority letter” to the State.

Whatever recommendations come from this study project might be, actual funding and improvements requires advocacy and leadership.  As a former resident of two neighborhoods along Rt. 99 and someone who routinely experiences these challenges along the corridor, I will be that advocate as the next County Council representative for District 5.

TAKE ACTION: The County has been collecting complaints and ideas from the community for the past few months, many of which are reflected on this map: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx…. You still have an opportunity to submit your concerns and ideas to David Cookson, Planning Manager, at (410) 313-3842 or dcookson@howardcountymd.gov.  Follow this link to view the presentation slides from the open house: https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx…