The $286 billion transportation bill approved recently by the House and Senate includes funding for projects in Southern Maryland, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said.
Four projects funded at Hoyer's request are the construction of the Hughesville Bypass; the construction of an interchange connecting Routes 5 and 373 and Brandywine Road; the widening of a portion of Chancellor's Run Road (Route 237); and the construction of a wider interchange at Route 4 and Suitland Parkway.
"This funding makes certain that the Hughesville Bypass will be completed, a project that we have long needed to alleviate congestion at the hazardous and accident-prone intersection of Routes 5 and 231," Hoyer said in an announcement released by his office.
"In comparison to other major American cities, the Washington region is doing poorly, and the problem is getting worse -- our traffic patterns are some of the most congested in the entire nation," he added.
The Southern Maryland-related projects include:
* Construction of the Hughesville Bypass along Route 5 (Leonardtown Road), for which Congress appropriated $11 million. This project was identified by the Tri-County Infrastructure Advisory Committee, and recognized by the state, as the second-most-pressing transportation need behind the widening of Route 235 in Lexington Park. The project is aimed at accommodating population growth and expansion at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
* Chancellor's Run Road (Route 237), $12 million. The two-lane road is narrow and has small shoulders and sharp curves. Residential and commercial growth in the Lexington Park area has led to severe congestion. This funding will cover nearly a third of the cost of upgrading and widening Chancellor's Run Road from Pegg Road to Route 235. The planning and design of the project are underway.
* New interchange connecting Branch Avenue (Route 5), Route 373 and Brandywine Road, $16 million. Severe congestion during peak hours at this intersection affects drivers in southern Prince George's County and Southern Maryland and commuters to and from Washington. This funding will provide nearly a third of what is needed for its design and construction.
* New interchange connecting Route 4 and Suitland Parkway, $15 million ($4 million of this amount was secured by Hoyer). The Suitland Parkway project would expand a major corridor from Calvert County to Prince George's County and Washington and improve access to Southern Maryland's military bases. The $4 million will be used to add one general-use lane in each direction.