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County:Charles Project Number:AT866_11
US 0301 CRAIN HIGHWAY NORTH OF THE US 301/MD 5 INTERCHANGE AT T.B. TO TURKEY HILL ROAD

Frequently Asked Questions


Q:

Why is the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) doing another US 301 Project?

A:

The purpose of the US 301 Waldorf Area Transportation Improvements Project is to develop transportation strategies that integrate existing land use and growth management, local community issues, and environmental protection. Transportation options are needed to provide for local, commuter, and through movement of people and goods in a safe, efficient, environmentally sensitive and cost-effective manner.
The recommendations from this project will address specific transportation needs along US 301 from the interchange at T.B. through the Waldorf area to the intersection of Turkey Hill Road and US 301.

 

Q:

Are you considering a Light Rail Line along MD 5 or US 301 as part of this project?

A:

SHA is not considering a light rail study as part of this project. However, the Maryland Transit Administration understands that US 301/MD 5 from Waldorf to Washington, D.C. is one of the most congested corridors in the state. This condition is caused in large part by the growing number of Charles County residents who travel to jobs in the Washington area. A combination of highway and transit improvements is needed to address this problem.

 

Q:

Is this another Eastern Washington Bypass Project?

A:

No. This project will not involve new freeway connections to I-95 in northern Virginia or consider a new Potomac River Crossing.

 

Q:

Are you going to widen the Governor Nice Bridge?

A:

SHA is not going to widen the Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge, but the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) is studying safety and capacity needs at the bridge. The study is analyzing alternative locations for the potential crossing of a new bridge across the Potomac River between King George County in Virginia and southern Charles County in Maryland.

 

Q:

How are the alternatives going to be selected?

A:

They will be selected using a collaborative effort that involves elected officials, State and Federal agencies, and the public. This follows the procedures outlined in the NEPA process.

 

Q:

If a Waldorf bypass is selected, will it cause an increase in truck traffic on existing US 301?

A:

Trucks constitute between 7% and 12% of all traffic on US 301, and may involve either local or through trips. While the absolute number of through trips and truck trips is likely to increase, their relative percentages in terms of overall trips are not projected to change.

 

Q:

If a Waldorf bypass is selected and built, what impacts will it have on the value of nearby properties?

A:

No specific alignment has been chosen at this time for a proposed bypass or upgrade options. Property values could change depending on their location relative to an improvement alignment, should one be selected. Despite this, there are many variables that factor into the determination of a property's value. For those property owners who would be directly impacted by an alignment, the law requires that they be paid fair market value for that portion of their property acquired for public use. For properties adjacent to an alignment, noise mitigation measures such as earthen berms or noise walls could be incorporated through the design process. As part of Charles County's designated growth area, Waldorf will not be the same 10 years from now as it is today, and it is difficult to predict how that growth may impact property values in the area.

For more information regarding SHA's Right-of-Way acquisition process, please contact our Office of Real Estate

in Charles County:
Melody Bryant, Office of Real Estate
800-331-5603

in Prince George's County:
Paul Lednak, Office of Real Estate
800-749-0737

 

Q:

How were the corridors selected?

A:

Transportation corridor limits were established and defined by the US 301 Task Force in a manner consistent with nationally recognized planning practices. The process involved consideration of the need for transportation effectiveness, together with the need to select corridors which avoid particularly sensitive environmental resources or which would allow for a reasonable minimization of impacts on individual categories of environmental (including socio-economic) resources. The process involved review of detailed 400-scale aerial photography mapping, which incorporated all major environmental resource features identified by the Task Force Environment Committee as potential areas of concern. The specific corridor boundary locations were determined based upon the judgment and expertise of environmental and engineering consultants, SHA staff, and environmental professionals on the Task Force Environment Committee. The public and others on the Committee also had a chance to review the locations and provide comments.

 

Q:

Will my comments really make a difference?

A:

Yes! Public input is an important component of all project planning studies. Because of the size and complexity of this project and the effect it will have on the population of Southern Maryland, it is important that we understand and receive public comments. Your comments will become part of a number of considerations that must be balanced, including transportation effectiveness, natural and community impacts, and others.

 

Q:

If a Waldorf bypass is selected, will it speed up the general rate of development and lead to sprawl?

A:

The US 301 Task Force concluded that regional growth trends will continue with or without a proposed bypass. Recent data - school enrollments, population, and building permits - support the household and employment projections used in the work of the US 301 Task Force. Local governments have the authority and responsibility for land use planning and zoning decisions. Should a bypass alternative be selected, the number of interchanges will be limited to help reduce the potential for sprawl, and their locations will be consistent with county-designated development areas.

 

Q:

If a Build Alternative is selected, when will construction begin?

A:

At this point, the US 301 Waldorf Area Transportation Improvements Project has been funded for project planning only, which will last for another 2-3 years. The next stage is design, which could also last for 2-3 years. The last stage is construction, which could take 3-5 years, providing that funding becomes available. Environmental studies, alignment approval, engineering, and right-of-way acquisition would have to be completed before construction could begin. If an alignment is selected and approved, construction would not begin for another 7-11 years.

 

Q:

How were locations for the interchanges selected?

A:

The selection of interchange locations was based on local Master Plan and Comprehensive Plan designations combined with an analysis of how each possible interchange location could serve transportation needs without compromising the land-use plans of the jurisdiction.

 


 
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