The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded a $2.6 million grant to the Maryland State Highway Administration to build a new welcome center along Interstate 95 in Howard County.
Highway department spokesman Charlie Gischlar told Land Line that the new southbound welcome center is still in the design stage at this point, but the competitive bidding process is scheduled for late Fall 2012.
He said the plans include an additional 40 truck parking spaces and new LED lighting in the lot surrounding the welcome center, along with addressing some drainage problems at the site. The new site will also have two electric charging stations.
“The plan is to have a two-level process, working on one side while keeping the other side open to maintain some truck parking while this is under construction,” Gischlar said.
He said the plan is to start the project in Spring 2013 and have the new welcome center completed by Spring 2014.
“Parking is a precious commodity here in the Northeast,” he said. “This is a win-win project. It is a safety issue for the truckers. We don’t want them to park on the side of the roadway, which puts them in jeopardy as well. ... For motorists who may come off the roadway, the trucks create a narrower space.”
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