New Two-Lane, Six-Mile Highway Reduces Traffic Congestion, Enhances Safety While 257-Acre Preserve Protects Endangered Bog Turtle

(August 6, 2009) – Nearly 20,000 motorists will now have easier commutes thanks to the new, nearly six-mile Hampstead Bypass built by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA).  Today, SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen joined Mayor Haven Shoemaker, Jr. and State and local elected officials to celebrate the completion of the $83 million MD 30 Relocated (Hampstead Bypass) Project in Carroll County.  The ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the northern end of the bypass tie-in to existing MD 30 located just south of the Brodbeck Road intersection.

The limited access highway is two lanes (one in each direction) featuring bicycle-compatible shoulders, and includes roundabouts just north of Wolf Hill Drive, at MD 482 (Hampstead Mexico Road) and just south of Brodbeck Road.  Built to the west of MD 30, the highway was designed to avoid the habitat of the threatened and endangered bog turtle, discovered during the planning stage of the highway. SHA preserved 257-acres of land to protect the turtle and enlisted local goats to “mow” meadows to control invasive plant species instead of traditional mowing equipment that would have crushed the four-inch reptiles.

“Improving highway safety is vitally important, but doing so in an environmentally friendly way is even more critical,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen.  “With the bypass, the residents of Hampstead now have their town back to enjoy without traffic back-ups and delays and the endangered bog turtles will forever have their home safeguarded from development.”  

SHA began construction of the bypass in 2006. With the opening of the Hampstead Bypass, motorists have full use of the three roundabouts along the bypass.  Earlier this year, SHA partially opened the roundabouts at the northern and southern connection of the bypass to existing MD 30 and the roundabout where the Hampstead Bypass connects to MD 482. 

“Surrounded by unique circumstances and citizens waiting far too long, the Hampstead Bypass has finally become a reality after more than 40 years of dreams and planning.  Hallelujah!” said Senator Larry E. Haines.

Existing MD 30 is now “MD 30 Business” and provides access to downtown Hampstead, but is no longer a through road and ends at a cul-de-sac near the northern connection to the new bypass.  Motorists will use the Hampstead Bypass as the north/south through-route along MD 30. Additionally, pedestrians are able to use new ADA-compliant sidewalks along MD 482.  For commuters, a new lot with  39 spaces near MD 482 will open for use this fall.

"The opening of the Hampstead Bypass is a momentous occasion for our community,” said Hampstead Mayor Haven N. Shoemaker, Jr.  “This project will greatly improve the quality of life of our residents and will enhance the prospects of our business community. I am grateful to the State Highway Administration for its efforts.”

SHA thanks the residents of Hampstead, Carroll County, and commuters for their patience and cooperation during construction.  Those who have questions about traffic operations along MD 30, or other State numbered routes in Carroll County, may call SHA’s District 7 Office at 301-624-8100 or toll free at 1-800-635-5119.     
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