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Many Transportation Projects In Jeopardy

County, ICC

Nancy Floreen alerts us to the cancellation of the Georgia Ave./Randolph Road intersection improvements, along with several others.  Is anyone surprised that the ICC project has dried up most transportation funds?  Wasn’t this predicted by ICC opponents?

We need to get serious about transportation funding.  We know that delaying projects leads to higher costs in the long run while canceling them altogether would lead to environmentally destructive sprawl and crippling congestion.  Some folks may think we can’t afford costly transportation projects, but we really can’t afford a future that leaves commuters paralyzed by gridlock and isolates the emerging business sectors of the state.  To learn more, visit my blog, and let me know what you think. (from “Nancy at Large”)

It is interesting to note that the Georgia/Randolph intersection was identified as the county’s second transportation priority as far back as 2004.  Now it’s pushed back at least 3.  The ICC project has trumped all things transportation and does so little to improve traffic in the county.

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Details on the ICC Change

ICC

A previous message points to the State Highway Administration (SHA) statement on their desire to change the end of ICC Phase 1 from Georgia Avenue to Norbeck Road. This message provides some additional details. The information comes from a conversation with Odessa Phillips, community liaison for the ICC project phase 1.

Previously, Phase 1 construction of the ICC (from I-370 to Georgia Avenue) was to end at a cloverleaf interchange on Georgia Avenue. This would connect the 6 lane toll road ICC to the 6 lane divided state highway Georgia Avenue north of Norbeck Road (route 28). Last fall, SHA proposed building a “spur road” to connect eastbound traffic from the ICC onto Norbeck Road to assist with the failing intersection at Georgia and Norbeck.

In a change proposed by Greater Olney Civic Association Treasurer Roy Peck, SHA is now planning to have phase 1 of the ICC continuing through the cloverleaf and terminating at a temporary exit directly onto Norbeck Road. This exit will bring ICC traffic directly onto Norbeck Road on existing ICC right-of-way but outside the expected ICC path. While specifics are unavailable, the description from SHA indicated the ICC will now terminate between the entrance to the Longmeade Crossing neighborhood and Baileys Land. An additional traffic light will be added at this exit, and an additional lane will be added to provide more merging space for traffic. It is unknown how this light will be timed with the existing light on Wintergate Drive.

Despite claims that the ICC has an extensive community outreach mission, SHA conceeded that they did not send a mailing to residents of the Norbeck area of the county soliciting them for input on the proposed change. Additionally, no sign was placed on the right-of-way indicating a public meeting or hearing as is typical for similar zoning changes. SHA also indicated that our state representatives were briefed on the change.

Please note that while the Greater Olney Civic Association collaborated with the state on this change, they are clearly on record as being opposed to the ICC and favor the ICC being closed until all phases are complete.

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