City, county make ambitious transportation requests

Several projects at the Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport top the Wicomico County Council’s wish list as counties make their annual pitch to the Maryland Department of Transportation for funding for roads, airports and other projects they deem to be priorities.

“As one of only two commercial service airports with daily scheduled airline service in the State, SBY provides a vital service to our region,” Council President Larry Dodd said in a letter to state Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater.

The county recently invested $5 million to replace critical infrastructure that has depreciated beyond repair, Dodd said. A new Airport Master Plan includes development and replacement of critical infrastructure and a runway extension that is necessary to meet existing American Airline operational needs and retain their service at the airport.

Among the airport projects outlined in the later are aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment and facility, a runway extension, a snow removal equipment building and new equipment, a FEMA/cargo joint use center, terminal rehabilitation, taxiway extension and apron, new surveillance equipment and new air traffic control tower equipment.

Weigh station

The county also wants the State Highway Administration to relocate its truck weight and inspection stations on both sides of Route 13 near Connelly Mill Road south of Delmar.

A facility replacement is warranted to improve the operations and safety, however, the current location is not preferred, Dodd said in the letter.

“In addition to environmental challenges at the existing site, growth and development in the areas adjacent to the facility has continued to intensify since the weigh and inspection scales were originally constructed,” he said. “As a result, the weigh station is not compatible ·with existing and proposed residential and commercial uses in the vicinity.”

County officials are “encouraged SHA is identifying an alternative location with less intense development rather than replacing the facility at the existing locations. In addition, as proposed improvements are designed, consideration should be given to incorporating the use of virtual scales to reduce the volume of motor carriers having to enter and exit onto a roadway experiencing high volumes of daily traffic.”

Road improvements

The county is requesting the state conduct a planning and feasibility study to prepare and evaluate concepts designed to improve access, reduce weaving and merging between motorists attempting to enter Centre at Salisbury and those accessing northbound Route 13, performance, and safety of the following interchanges:

  • Route 50 eastbound and westbound — access Salisbury Bypass.
  • Salisbury Bypass westbound — access to northbound Route 13.

Council members also want:

  • An intersection safety and traffic signal warrant study at Snow Hill Road and Nutters Cross Road.
  • An access management study for a free lane exit onto Route 50 from Wor-Wic Community College to prevent backups at Walston Switch Road.
  • A drainage improvement study on Nanticoke Road.
  • Embankment stabilization along the Salisbury Bypass at Peggy Neck Branch.

Pedestrian improvements

County officials also are seeking additional street lighting, audible and countdown pedestrian signals, crosswalks, and other pedestrian amenities are requested along Route 13 for the intersections at Naylor Mill Road, North Point Drive, Dagsboro Road, and Connelly Mill Road.

They also asked SHA to consider a raised median and fence to prevent mid-block pedestrian crossings along Route 13 between East Main and Church streets.

Salisbury requests

The city of Salisbury included its own list of transportation priorities, including the realignment of the Route 13 S-curve from East Vine Street to Maryland Avenue.

“This section of US 13 has long been a high-crash corridor and now almost all properties along the west side have been acquired by Peninsula Regional Medical Center. PRMC has expressed a willingness to work with the City and MDOT to acquire the last remaining property and to cede some property to MDOT for a realignment,” City Administrator Julia Glanz said in a letter.

City officials also listed other projects:

  • Installation of a landscaped median system from Zion Road to West College Avenue.
  • Geometric improvements and signal modifications at the state-controlled lights at Mill Street and Route 50 and Mill Street and West Main Street to decrease congestion of the nearby roundabout.
  • Improved pedestrian and cyclist crossing facilities at Mill Street and West Main Street.
  • Improved pedestrian and cyclist crossing facilities on Route 13 where it intersects with East Church, Calvert streets, East Main and Market, Carroll and Vine streets.
  • Creation of a north-south multi-modal trail along the railroad right-of-way paralleling Route 13.
  • Design and installation of a Beaglin Park Drive Hike and Bike Path Crossing.
  • Improvements to Route 13 from Bateman Street south to Kay Avenue.
  • Design and construction of a roundabout at the skewed intersection of East Main Street, Mount Hermon Road, Truitt Street, Long Avenue and East William Street.

Requests from other towns

The county included requests from other municipalities in Wicomico County:

  • The town of Delmar is asking SHA to conduct a corridor study to evaluate the operational and safety characteristics of signalized and unsignalized intersections located between Connelly Mill Road and State Street in order  to recommend several alternative intersection improvements designed to improve safety and reduce congestion, as well as develop preliminary cost estimates for each proposed improvement. 
  • The town of Hebron is asking MDOT for assistance with planning, designing, and constructing a rail to trail for the segment of the abandoned rail line located within the corporate limits of Hebron; a traffic signal study for the Route 670 and Route 50 intersection; and continued coordination between the town and SHA to maintain and enhance the stormwater management. 
  • Pittsville is asking MDOT to either repair or replace various culverts along Route 353 in the vicinity of the apartments and near the town’s sewer pumping station; sidewalk construction along the west side of Route 353 from Pearl Street to the Dollar General store. 
  • The town of Willards is asking SHA to take over ownership and maintenance of Bent Pine Road between Route 50 and Old Ocean City Road. There is a significant amount of traffic that uses the road to cut through between the two state owned roads, but the town’s budget cannot support the maintenance necessary to keep the road in good structural condition, Town Council President Margaret E. White said in a letter.
As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.