Fort Meade’s ever-changing landscape

Guest Column

Lt. Col. Jay Birmingham, Fort Meade’s deputy garrison commander for transformation.

Greetings, Team Meade!

Thanks to the efforts of retired Col. Bert Rice and Trish Miller of the Transformation directorate, we have established and maintained a good number of productive relationships with partners and friends of Fort Meade.

This is especially true for the transportation authorities and administrations assisting us with widening roads, improving intersections, and expanding transit options on and around post.

The Maryland State Highway Administration and Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division are helping us to engineer transportation solutions to minimize commute times for our growing Fort Meade population and workforce.

Route 175 (Annapolis Road) is the main corridor servicing Fort Meade and the central Maryland business community by connecting the Baltimore/Washington Parkway (Route 295) and Route 32 with six lanes of new road by the year 2020.

The tree clearing you have seen between Reece Road and Disney Road on Route 175 will improve access to the Anne Arundel County Schools located on the installation.

The Mapes Road gate and Reece Road gate intersection improvements along Route 175 are scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2018. Their separate access control points are scheduled to be fully constructed and operational by 2018 and 2020, respectively.

In the meantime, we have opened the Llewellyn Avenue gate to relieve traffic pressure as a result of starting the Mapes’ access control point renovation.

The Rockenbach Road gate project is moving along but continues to be a challenge. Paving of the “high side” of the project is scheduled for this month and will have one inbound and one outbound lane to replace the current two lanes.

You can expect intermittent gate closures at certain phases of construction. The remainder of Rockenbach Road paving is underway.

Dan Spicer, director of Fort Meade’s Directorate of Public Works, is working with his team to improve access control points and widen roads to accommodate our projected growth on post.

We expect completion of the Rockenbach ACP by next summer. Approximately the east half of on-post road projects is funded. We have petitioned to secure funding for the central/west half.

The Maryland Transportation Authority and the Regional Transportation Agency are implementing Baltimore Link as an answer to inefficient bus routing and beleaguered drivers.

What that means is that, this fall, the Fort Meade community can expect improved bus routes connecting the Savage and Odenton MARC trains along Route 175 at Fort Meade access points.

Download the Fort Meade App and submit suggestions for our internal bus shuttles, so we can synchronize the stops.

We are continuing work with all mass transit partners to innovate and incentivize mass public transportation to reduce single-occupancy vehicle traffic.

Last month, Fort Meade met with developers and planners of the Superconducting Magnetic Levitation Train (SCMAGLEV). It is the world’s fastest train, with speeds over 300 mph.

The SCMAGLEV will service the Northeast corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York. It will skirt Fort Meade with a stop at the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Though the project is long in coming, it has been reinvigorated by recent funding.

For our bicycling community, the hiker/biker trails on Route 175 are still under construction and are expected to be completed no later than next fall. The sally port at the Pepper Gate will soon become more accessible to cyclers. Check the Fort Meade App and Soundoff! for details.

Thank you for your continued patience with Fort Meade’s ever-changing landscape. We’re working to serve you better.

Please keep sending your valued recommendations or feedback.

Team Meade!

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