New Speed Limit Will Enhance Safety for Pedestrians, Bicyclists and Motorists; Intersection Improvements and Full-Traffic Signal Installation Begin along US 1 at Kit Kat Road

(August 7, 2019) – This week, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is reducing the speed limit and beginning intersection improvements along US 1 (Washington Boulevard) in Howard County to enhance the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

MDOT SHA is reducing the speed limit from 50 mph to 45 mph along two sections of US 1, bringing consistency throughout the nine-mile corridor.  The speed limit reduction will be implemented on US 1 between Whiskey Bottom Road and Hicks Road in Laurel, and between Montevideo Road and Ducketts Lane in Elkridge.

MDOT SHA conducted a traffic engineering study along US 1 in conjunction with Howard County’s US 1 Safety Evaluation, which released its final report earlier this year. After traffic engineers collected and analyzed speed, traffic-count and traffic-demand data, MDOT SHA determined that the speed limit should be lowered from 50 mph to 45 mph to enhance the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.

“There is redevelopment occurring throughout much of the US 1 corridor in Howard County and lowering the speed limit will help enhance safety for motorists, pedestrian and bicyclists,” said MDOT SHA District Engineer John Concannon. “Howard County and MDOT SHA are working together to address and enhance pedestrian safety along US 1.”

MDOT SHA is also starting a project to enhance safety and operations at the US 1/Kit Kat Road intersection. The $1.7 million project will include a new full traffic signal, crosswalk and new sidewalks and be complete summer 2020.

Crews will convert the existing flashing signal to a full traffic signal with accessible countdown pedestrian signals.  To enhance pedestrian safety, crews will install a new crosswalk at the intersection and add ADA-compliant sidewalks within the project limits. Work also includes roadway widening to extend the right turn lane along northbound US 1 to Kit Kat Road and the construction of a new entrance for the flea market along US 1.

Although most work will take place behind concrete barrier, motorists can expect single lane closures Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. MDOT SHA’s contractor, Ardent Construction of McLean, Va., will use a temporary barrier wall, cones, barrels, and message boards to guide the nearly 28,500 vehicles per day safely through the work zone. 

MDOT SHA urges drivers to stay alert, focus on the road and look for highway workers, reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and changing traffic patterns. Drive like you work here and please slowdown in construction zones.

For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, click on Road Ready, MDOT SHA's electronic construction brochure. For a look at real-time commute conditions, log onto

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