O'Malley announces construction of UMES Boulevard roundabout

  • Thursday, July 11, 2013

    Transportation Act advances start of project that will support nearly 50 jobs

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    ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 11, 2013)- Gov. Martin O'Malley today announced $3.7 million from the 2013 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act will be used to build a roundabout at the intersection of MD 822 (University of Maryland Eastern Shore Boulevard) and MD 675 (Somerset Avenue) in Princess Anne. The state projects it will support nearly 50 jobs and construct a long-awaited safety improvement project for the Eastern Shore.

    "Thanks to the better choices we've made to pass the Transportation Act, we can continue to create jobs for our families and advance crucial safety projects like this roundabout across the State," O'Malley said. 

    Construction is scheduled to begin this fall. New sidewalks will be built along Somerset Avenue from the roundabout to MD 362 (Mt. Vernon Road), and the project also includes drainage improvements and modernizing stormwater treatment facilities.

    "The UMES-Somerset Avenue Roundabout Project demonstrates how our citizens, towns, counties and the state government achieve success by working together," state Sen. Jim Mathias said. "In this project, years of pedestrian safety concerns, as well as traffic issues affecting the residents of Princess Anne and students of UMES, and serious storm water management issues that have been problematic to the region for many years have been remedied. I'm very pleased of our accomplishments and grateful the funds have been made available for this project to become a reality."

    When complete in fall 2014, the roundabout will enhance the safety of pedestrians and motorists traveling to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, which has approximately 4,500 students. UMES Boulevard will be open to traffic during construction.

    "These long-awaited and critical safety improvements are celebrated by all of us who call Princess Anne our home," Del. Charles Otto said.  "For more than 20 years, this has been a priority, and I applaud everyone who worked to get the funding to move this project forward." 

    Building the roundabout will require moving several water and sewer lines. The Town of Princess Anne has applied for a $250,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state to cover the cost of moving the local utility lines to enable the project to move forward. The total cost of the roundabout and sidewalk improvements, including right-of-way, design and construction, is $4.1 million. 

    "Princess Anne is a growing community and infrastructure sits at the top of our list of things to get done," said Garland Hayward, President of the Princess Anne County Commissioners. "On behalf of all of Princess Anne and UMES, I can't express how grateful we are to the State for making these much needed safety improvements possible." 

    "Improved access to our campus and the safety of our students, who must walk along roads with no sidewalks, have been long-standing concerns of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore," UMES President Juliette Bell said. "We are delighted that this project will be underway soon and extremely grateful to Governor O'Malley and the State for making this funding possible." 

    At Gov. O'Malley's urging, Maryland lawmakers passed the historic Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which is expected to support more than 57,200 jobs and invest an average of $800 million annually in transportation projects for a total of $4.4 billion over the next six years.

    The governor recently announced more than $1.5 billion in n