A new influx of money is expected to help with congestion and safety along Maryland Route 32 in Howard County. The state and the county have agreed to split the costs in order to get the highway expansion into the fast lane.
Governor Larry Hogan, along with Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman, announced the $152 million investment Thursday to transform nine miles of the two-lane road into a four-lane divided highway. The widening project will be completed in three phases with the first one kicking off this summer.
Howard County will be contributing half of the $33 million needed for Phase I, which widens Route 32 from Maryland Route 108 to Linden Church Road. Phase II construction is expected to begin in 2019. The $107 million project will complete the expansion of Route 32 from Linden Church Road to Interstate 70. And Phase III, which is already underway, takes a look at continuing the expansion into Carroll County.
“Our top concern of our Administration is the safety of our citizens," Hogan said. “Not only is this highway a traffic nightmare for drivers, it's also unsafe. Too many people have been victims of fatal crashes along this road. It simply isn't built to handle the volume of traffic and to adequately provide access to jobs."
According to the Maryland State Highway Administration, more than 30,000 vehicles travel along Route 32 each day, and the anticipated four-lane highway with a median is expected to help traffic flow while also reducing the number and frequency of accidents.