Improves Access to a Maryland Treasure, Part of $167.5 Million Transportation Investment in St. Mary’s County
“For years, St. Mary’s County leaders and residents asked for help to fix the traffic and safety concerns that plague MD 5. Today, our administration is answering the call,” said Governor Hogan. “This badly needed project will help citizens and tourists of St. Mary’s County get about their daily lives in a faster, more efficient, and safer manner.”
The 2-mile project will provide safe access to the state park by widening MD 5 between Camp Brown Road and the Ranger Station’s entrance booth and resurfacing the roadway to the causeway. The existing, narrow two-lane roadway is problematic for tourists unfamiliar with the road and regular visitors who drive recreational vehicles and tow boat trailers. In addition to people driving 8 ½-foot-wide recreational vehicles trying to navigate 10-foot lanes, drivers are challenged by the absence of shoulders and very soft ground and deep ditches on the roadside. This project will widen the lanes to 11 feet and add six- to eight-foot shoulders in each direction. At the MD 5/Scotland Beach Road intersection, crews also will construct an exclusive right-turn lane onto southbound MD 5, heading toward the park.
During the summer peak-season, the number of vehicles grows from 750 off season to 4,900 vehicles traveling this portion of MD 5 daily – a nearly seven-fold jump in the amount of traffic. In 2035, the peak-season traffic is expected to increase to 7,000 vehicles-per-day.
Even before the park opens at 6:00 AM, MD 5 delays quickly build for residents, pedestrians, cyclists and emergency responders. A disabled vehicle or minor crash can paralyze the area. These improvements will provide emergency shoulders that can be used for travel during peak times.