The tragic accident on the Bel Air Bypass this fall has led to state action to improve safety along the dangerous stretch of Rt. 1. After a three-car accident killed a mother and one of her young children and resulted in criminal charges against the negligent driver, public outcry generated a response.
Local officials have introduced legislation for stricter penalties on hit-and-run drivers, and representatives to Annapolis called for change.
Now, Sen. Barry Glassman said rumble strips will be added to the median along the bypass this spring, and a median barrier will be planned in the next fiscal year.
The rumble strips will run from Water Tower Way to Winters Run bridge beginning in spring 2009, and the traffic barrier will be between Water Tower Way and MD 24, as funding becomes available. The barrier is estimated to cost $9 million to $12 million. Other roadway improvements will be necessary, such as reconstruction of the shoulder to bear weight of daily traffic, the road will be widened, and new drainage inlets will be installed.
According to Del. Wayne Norman’s office, a constituent raised the idea of installing rumble strips. In a request for comment, Norman said “I don’t know if SHA got the idea from the constituent letter, but evidently it was a good idea. That’s why hearing from constituents is so important.”
The press release from Glassman’s office is below:
MD SHA/ Sen. Glassman Announce Safety Enhancements to Bel Air Bypass
Senator Glassman praises MD State Highway Administration’s Decision to enhance safety along US Route 1 Bypass
Annapolis, MD- Senator Barry Glassman is commending Md State Highway officials for their decision to 1) install centerline rumble strips on the Bel Air Bypass this Spring and 2) begin design and construction of a new traffic barrier within the next fiscal year.
The Bel Air Bypass was the site of a fatal crash this past fall on November 7th and many Harford Countians had expressed concern over the dangerous mix of speed and increasing congestion in the area.
Senator Glassman said he looks forward to working with State Highway Officials to identify 9 to 12 million dollars for the barrier construction.