LEONARDTOWN, MD – The St. Mary’s County Government’s Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T) is set to commence construction on a roundabout at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and the proposed FDR Boulevard on or about Monday, July 24, 2023. The project is expected to span approximately 60 days to enhance traffic flow and safety in the area.

During construction, MacArthur Boulevard will remain accessible to motorists, but a temporary lane diversion will be in effect to accommodate the ongoing work. Commuters are advised to exercise caution and be mindful of work crews, equipment, and potential changes in traffic patterns.

To ensure adequate awareness among drivers, the project will be marked with message boards and signage strategically placed around the construction site. These visual cues will remind motorists to proceed cautiously and adhere to temporary traffic arrangements.

For those seeking more detailed information about the project, the St. Mary’s County Government has provided relevant resources on its official website at stmaryscountymd.gov/fdr. Additionally, individuals with specific queries regarding the construction can contact the Department of Public Works & Transportation at (301) 475-4200, extension 3525.

The decision to install a roundabout at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and the proposed FDR Boulevard stems from a thorough assessment by transportation authorities. Roundabouts have proven effective in managing traffic flow, reducing congestion, and minimizing the severity of accidents at busy intersections.

The choice to keep MacArthur Boulevard open throughout the construction phase was made to mitigate potential disruptions to daily commutes and local businesses. By employing a temporary lane diversion, authorities hope to balance maintaining accessibility and ensuring a smooth construction process.

Roundabouts are widely recognized for their safety benefits. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), these circular intersections can reduce the number of potential collision points, leading to a decrease in severe accidents. The FHWA also reports that roundabouts can result in a 90% reduction in fatal crashes and a 75% reduction in injury-related collisions.

Furthermore, roundabouts offer environmental advantages. As vehicles can navigate through the roundabout at lower speeds, there is a reduction in harmful emissions and noise pollution, contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable community.

Residents and commuters have expressed mixed feelings about the upcoming construction. Some hope the roundabout will alleviate traffic congestion, while others are concerned about delays during construction. In response to these concerns, authorities have emphasized their commitment to completing the project as efficiently as possible while minimizing disruptions.

Transportation experts encourage motorists to familiarize themselves with roundabout navigation and to exercise patience and caution during the initial adjustment period. In roundabouts, traffic flows counterclockwise, and drivers must yield to vehicles already inside the circle.

The DPW&T’s decision to deploy message boards and signage is part of a comprehensive communication strategy to keep the public informed and safe throughout construction. Additionally, the department will work closely with local law enforcement to ensure traffic enforcement around the construction site, further enhancing safety for all road users.

As the construction commences on Monday, July 24, 2023, Leonardtown residents and commuters are urged to plan their routes, consider alternative transportation options, and stay updated on any developments or changes through official channels.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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