Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced Friday that the state will fund more than $27 million in transportation improvements in Calvert County, including the widening of Route 4 at the county's most congested intersection.
The state will spend $19.4 million to widen Route 4 at Route 231 in Prince Frederick, Ehrlich (R) said.
The four through lanes will be expanded to six, and double left-turn lanes will be added on approaches to the intersection. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2007 and finish in the fall of 2009.
The announcement of funding for the Prince Frederick intersection came as a surprise to county officials, who gathered with Ehrlich on Friday afternoon expecting the governor to announce funding only for some transportation projects in Chesapeake Beach.
"We all gasped when he said it," said county Commissioner Susan Shaw (R-Huntingtown). "This is a really big gift from the state."
The balance of the money will go to several projects in Chesapeake Beach.
The state will contribute $1.6 million to create the Chesapeake Beach Railway Trail, a 1.4-mile hiker-biker trail from Chesapeake Beach's town center to the Bayview Hills and Richfield Station communities.
Construction is to begin next fall and end in summer 2006. The county will also contribute $1.6 million to the project.
The trail will be built on the former track bed of the Chesapeake Beach Railway, which shuttled vacationers from the District to Chesapeake Beach at the beginning of the 20th century.
Another project funded by the state is the $1.3 million face-lift of the 70-year-old Mount Harmony Road Bridge over Route 260.
Construction will begin spring of next year and continue until fall 2006. The project will be funded entirely by the state.
Ehrlich also announced $5 million from the state for upgrades to Route 260 and Route 261 in Chesapeake Beach.
The project will replace the shared center turn lane on Route 260 with left-turn-only lanes, add crosswalks at intersections and create a four-foot-wide bike lane on each side of Route 261.
Calvert County has been asking for state funding for some of the projects for more than 20 years, county and state officials said. Ehrlich said this week's announcement was possible because of the $237 million transportation bill that passed the General Assembly this year.
"Now the days of saying no are over," he said.