Projects & Studies
commuter & travel
environment & Community
Projects Advanced Search
MD 0004 SOLOMONS ISLAND RD/PATUXENT BEACH RD UPGRADE BETWEEN MD 2 AND MD 235
When will this impact me?
MD 4, Solomons Island Road
Location of Project:
UPGRADE BETWEEN MD 2 AND MD 235
Study to upgrade MD 4 between MD 2 and MD 235, including the Thomas Johnson Bridge and MD 235 intersection (2.91 miles). Sidewalks will be provided where appropriate for pedestrians.
Over the past decade, traffic volumes on MD 4 have more than doubled. Residential development in the area just north of Solomons Island has increased substantially over the past few years. Over 60 percent of Calvert County residents commute outside of the county. In St. Mary's County, the Patuxent Naval Air Station now hosts over 17,000 people, including active-duty service members, civil-service employees, defense contractor employees, and military dependents. The total employment for St. Mary's County is approximately 49,000 persons, including the Patuxent Naval Air Station. In addition to high traffic volumes along northbound and southbound MD 4 during the AM and PM peak periods, traffic congestion on the Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge is problematic. Inadequate shoulder widths along the bridge cause major traffic delays and/or closures during crashes and maintenance activities for both northbound and southbound traffic on the bridge. Currently, all maintenance activities on the bridge must be completed during late night to early morning hours to avoid causing major traffic delays during the AM and PM peak traffic hours.
In addition to the need for vehicular capacity and safety improvements, bicycle and pedestrian access is restricted to the southern portion of the study area. There is currently bicycle and pedestrian access along MD 4 south of the bridge in St. Mary's County, but it ends at the bridge. The current Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge does not provide adequate accomodations for bicycles or pedestrians.
What is under study:
Concepts are under study to improve existing capacity and traffic operations and to increase vehicular and pedestrian safety along MD 4, while supporting existing and planned development in the area. MD 4 provides commuters in the area with access to points north, including the District of Columbia, as well as points south, including the Patuxent Naval Air Station. MD 4 is also the main evacuation route for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Station. The enhancements to MD 4 would improve access, mobility, and safety for local, regional, and inter-regional traffic, including passenger and transit vehicles.
The following alternatives are currently being studied and were presented at the September 28 and 29, 2010 Location/Design Public Hearings:
Alternative 1: No-Build Alternative
No major improvements are proposed under Alternative 1, the No-Build Alternative. Minor short-term improvements would occur as part of routine maintenance and safety operations. The bridge would have to undergo re-decking during the next 15-25 years. The No-Build Alternative does not address future traffic concerns or the purpose and need for the project. It serves as the baseline for comparing the impacts and benefits associated with the build alternatives.
Alternative 2: Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative
The Transportation Systems Management (TSM) Alternative consists of spot improvements and access management along the corridor to address short-term safety, operational, and public concerns at specific locations. Although TSM improvements generally involve lower costs and few environmental impacts, they provide no substantial improvements to address future concerns. The TSM alternative does not include improvements to the existing Thomas Johnson Bridge. TSM strategies being considered for this corridor include:
-Removing the off-ramp from MD 4 to MD 2 to eliminate congestion
-Closing access points from MD 4 to the parallel access road in Calvert County
-Closing the northern or southern access point to South Patuxent Beach Road
-Separating the intersection improvements as a stand-alone project
Patuxent River Crossings
Alternative 3: Two-Lane Parallel Span
Alternative 3 is a new, two-lane bridge that would be built parallel and to the south of the existing Thomas Johnson Bridge. With this alternative, the existing bridge would be kept open to traffic and converted to carry traffic in the southbound direction. The new span would carry traffic in the northbound direction and would consist of two 12-foot-wide travel lanes, a four-foot-wide inside shoulder, and a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder. In addition, the bridge would have a 10-foot-wide shared-use bicycle/pedestrian path separated from the shoulder by a concrete barrier. Under this alternative, Option A proposes to decrease the vertical profile of the bridge, to approximately 70-foot-high vertical clearance over the Patuxent River shipping channel. Option B proposes to maintain the existing vertical profile of the bridge, with a 140-foot-high vertical clearance over the Patuxent River shipping channel.
Alternative 4: Four-Lane Parallel Span
Alternative 4 is a new four-lane bridge that would be built parallel and to the south of the existing Thomas Johnson Bridge. Upon completion of the new bridge, the existing bridge would be removed. In each direction, the bridge would consist of two 12-foot-wide lanes, a four-foot-wide inside shoulder, and a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder. In addition, there would be a 10-foot-wide shared-use bicycle/pedestrian lane on the south side of the bridge, separated from the shoulder by a concrete barrier. Under this alternative, Option A proposes to decrease the vertical profile of the bridge, to approximately 70-foot-high vertical clearance over the Patuxent River shipping channel. Option B proposes to maintain the existing vertical profile of the bridge, with a 140-foot-high vertical clearance over the Patuxent River shipping channel.
MD 4 Mainline Alternatives
MD 4 Mainline, Calvert County
From north of the MD 4/Patuxent Point Parkway intersection to the Patuxent River crossing, several options have been developed to improve traffic operations along the Calvert County portion of MD 4. Bicyclists and pedestrians would continue to use MD 765, the service road that parallels MD 2/4.
With any of the build alternatives, the existing ramp at the base of the bridge from northbound MD 4 to Solomons Island Road will need to be relocated. SHA is currently proposing several options for relocating this ramp, including:
-Shifting the ramp approximately 1100 feet north and creating a "T" intersection with the parallel service road
-Shifting the ramp approximately 900 feet north and creating a four-way intersection with the service road and retail-center entrance
-Removing the right-turn access and creating a left-turn access onto the existing off-ramp from southbound MD 4 toward the Solomons Island boat launch
SHA has developed several additional options for access to and from the parallel service road for Solomons Island in response to feedback from citizens, business owners, and elected officials. These options include:
-A "no change" option that maintains the access points as they exist today, with the exception of the ramp from northbound MD 4 to Solomons Island at the base of the bridge
-A "median widening" option that adds four-foot-wide shoulders to the inside of MD 4, reducing the width of the open grass median to 22 feet
-An "access control" option that consolidates the access points to and from the service road between the base of the bridge and Patuxent Point Parkway
MD 4 Mainline Widening, St. Mary's County
MD 4 would be widened to a four-line divided roadway from Patuxent Beach Road to just beyond Patuxent Boulevard in St. Mary's County. The typical section would consist of two 12-foot-wide travel lanes, a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder, and a four-foot-wide inside shoulder in each direction, with a 30-foot-wide open grass median. Turn lanes could be added to intersections where needed along MD 4. An optional 10-foot-wide bicycle/pedestrian path could be constructed to the south side of MD 4, separated by a 10-foot-wide grass buffer.
MD 4/MD 235 Intersection Options
Option A: Continuous Flow Intersection
This option would modify the existing traffic signal and add two new signals on the north and west legs of the intersection. The three traffic signals would be used to disperse traffic through the intersection. This option takes the primary left-turning traffic at the intersection of MD 4 and MD 235 and moves it to the left of oncoming traffic, allowing left turns to be made at the same time as through movements. MD 4 would carry two through lanes in each direction, and MD 235 would maintain three through lanes in each direction. A bicycle and pedestrian path would be provided through the intersections and connect with St. Mary's County's proposed Three Notch Trail.
Option B: At-Grade Intersection with One-Directional Flyover
This option takes traffic turning left from southbound MD 4 to southbound MD 235 and moves it onto a single-lane flyover ramp to bypass the MD 4/MD 235 intersection. The traffic signal would remain for all other intersection movements. A left turn lane would be provided as a redundant movement to the flyover ramp for local access to businesses. MD 4 would carry two through lanes in each direction, and MD 235 would maintain three through lanes in each direction. A bicycle and pedestrian path would be provided through the intersection and connect with St. Mary's County's proposed Three Notch Trail.
Option D: Single Point Urban Interchange
This option is a grade-separated interchange, with MD 4 crossing under MD 235 below ground level. Option D keeps all through traffic on MD 235 flowing (without a traffic signal) with two lanes southbound and three lanes northbound. All left turns would be regulated at a single signalized intersection on the lower level, and would use ramps to get to and from each roadway. Through traffic along MD 4 would also cross through the signal, with two through lanes in each direction. Right turns would be made on ramps that do not pass through the signal. A bicycle and pedestrian path would be provided through the intersections and connect with St. Mary's County's proposed Three Notch Trail.
Two Build Alternatives were presented at the June 16 and 17, 2008 Alternatives Public Workshops but were not recommended to be carried forward for detailed study:
Alternative 5: Four-Lane Myrtle Point Crossing
Alternative 5 is a new four-lane bridge that will be built from the Naval Recreation Center in Calvert County to the terminus of Patuxent Boulevard in Myrtle Point in St. Mary's County. In each direction, the bridge will consist of two 12-foot-wide lanes, a 4-foot-wide inside shoulder, and a 10-foot-wide outside shoulder. In addition, there will be a 10-foot-wide shared use bicycle/pedestrian lane on one side of the bridge, which will be separated from the shoulder by a concrete barrier. This alternative will avoid Myrtle Point Park, and will maintain access to the park. Road connections with existing MD 4 will be maintained.
The team recommended that Alternative 5: Four-Lane Myrtle Point Crossing be dropped from further consideration due to increased environmental impacts, right-of-way requirements, costs, and opposition from the public in comparison to other alternatives that meet the project's purpose and need. Alternative 5 also has potential viewshed impacts based on the new alignment, and impacts to Myrtle Point Park and recreational facilities within the Naval Recreation Center, as well as a historic standing structure within the Naval Recreation Center.
MD 4/MD 235 Intersection Option C: Partial Cloverleaf Interchange
This option is a grade-separated interchange option, with MD 4 crossing over MD 235. Traffic turning from southbound MD 4 onto southbound MD 235 will travel straight through the interchange and then make a right turn onto a loop ramp to reach MD 235. The bridge over MD 235 will be six lanes, with two through lanes and a turn lane in each direction.
The team recommended that Option C: Partial Cloverleaf Interchange be dropped from further consideration due to impacts to a pending development project at the intersection in comparison to other options that meet the project's purpose and need with similar costs and environmental impacts. St. Mary's County sent a letter to the state requesting this option not be retained.
Funded Year :
How much will this project cost?
Last Updated On : 4/11/2013
707 North Calvert Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202