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APG Traffic Headache is BRAC Hangover

A prediction at Wednesday's post-BRAC conference was that one 5.6-mile rush-hour drive will take more than 47 minutes in four years.

The federal government program to relocate thousands of jobs to officially , but local residents will face growing traffic problems well into the future, government officials and economic development experts said at a conference held Wednesday.

Especially vexing will be growing congestion and delays on the stretch of local roads that connect Aberdeen’s I-95 exit ramps to APG’s main entrance gate off Route 40, according to Steven S. Overbay, an official with the regional planning group Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor.

Travel time on the 5.6-mile section of Route 22 and Route 40 (see graphic) is expected to increase from 9.1 minutes now to 47.5 minutes in just four years, Overbay said. The travel time estimates are based on commuter rush-hour periods only, but the congestion issues will have broader impact, Overbay said.

Overbay’s remarks came Wednesday in Edgewood at a day-long “Beyond  BRAC” conference of regional planners, government officials, defense contractors, and others.

Attended by about 125 local officials and business representatives, the conference was aimed at BRAC’s continuing impact on regional transportation, education and economic development. It was sponsored by the Chesapeake Corridor.

Transportation issues dominated the conference. Overbay described plans to eliminate seven bottlenecks at Aberdeen road intersections that should ease local congestion in the future, and other speakers discussed mass transit and transport funding issues.

Maryland Department of Transportation official Andy Scott, for example, presented the outlines for the new plan for the renovation and reconstruction of the Aberdeen rail station. The plan is designed to make mass transit more attractive to workers at , he said.

The plan—dubbed the—is scheduled to be unveiled to the public of the Aberdeen City Council, he said.

Rail service was also discussed by Andrew Lubin, Director of Real Estate for the University of Delaware.

The university is developing a Science and Technology Campus on the old Chrysler auto assembly plant near the main campus in Newark, DE, he said. Part of the plan is to build a new rail passenger station there and connect with the Amtrak, MARC, and SEPTA rail systems, he said.

This will provide new mass transit options for workers living in the areas northeast of Aberdeen, and connect the new technology centers in Newark and Aberdeen, Lubin said.

However, there are harsh economic realties still to be dealt with, according to a least one person attending the conference.  Donald Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a regional public-private development group said that transportation funding faces a crisis in Maryland. And there is no obvious source of money for most of the new projects discussed at the conference.

No funding is in place even to complete the seven intersection improvements needed immediately in Aberdeen on Routes 22 and 40, he pointed out.

Karl Schuub December 16, 2011 at 11:30 PM
Seems like we've reactivated this thread from a couple months back. If I'm to understand it correctly and having listened to some of the BRAC/transportation testimony, the Brac employees (all fed employees) are given a $200 per month stipend to encourage they take public transportation above and beyond salary. An additional benefit offered from complaints they couldn't get home easily if they took the bus/train/car pool to work is that they have rental cars at the ready, front door service for the public employees to take home for emergencies, kids illness, etc. Perhaps some of you whom flood the roads might take advantage of yet another benefit not offered in the private sector that might alleviate congestion. Ya'll sound like a bunch of spoiled brats.
George Helm December 16, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Does seem to be an epidemic lately from the public sector over their perks! Glad you have the ability to share things the public doesn't know!
Karl Schuub December 17, 2011 at 12:17 AM
It's sort of weird to have folks openly complain about living in our county and yet are given every welcome mat imaginable...it's still not enough. If the folks from NJ think upgraded shopping centers and urban art are what we should be about I'd respectfully suggest the bulk of us who've lived her a long, long time like the open spaces, the lack of twisted, congested country roads, the lack of urban phoney sheek, etc. We didn't ask for BRAC, in fact I'm fairly certain corruption in gov't got us to this issue in the first place. Follow the local money it's far easier to corrupt at the local as opposed to federal level.
IndispensableDestiny December 17, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Having grown up in NJ and moved to Harford County 30 years ago, I can say parts of the county now are more like NJ than not. At least the NJ I grew up in. Thirty years ago, the area around Ft. Monmouth was very much like Harford County. Pleasant and semi-rural. Not any more.
onefedupcitizen December 18, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Well said Tom. They are rude, they cant drive, and if they don't like it here please GO BACK. We didn't ask you to come here anyway. I am not generally a mean person but don't here and then complain about OUR HOMETOWNS. You came to MD now live by MD laws and enjoy our hometowns they are beautiful and there are places to shop. Just look around. Really you want to compare NJ to here. Come on people. Not even close. Thank god. Now you can either figure out how to like our area or please go back but don't come here and complain about everything.

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