MAYA KOEPPEN — The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is set to start construction on Queen’s Chapel Road (MD 500) this spring.
Construction will take place along MD 500 from Eastern Avenue to Hamilton Street, in both Hyattsville and Mount Rainier. According to MDOT SHA documents, the project is designed to improve safety conditions for vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles travelling along Queens Chapel Road. The project is expected to cost approximately $13 million, which will come from funds allocated for urban reconstruction projects, according to Lamar Leonard, project manager for the MDOT Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) Office of Highway Development.
This phase of MD 500 construction will widen the road and improve pavement, and will also include numerous improvements: a landscaped median, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks, an upgraded stormwater management system, bike lanes, and pedestrian lighting within the Hyattsville city limits.
“There are some right-of-way impacts where we are widening the roads, so we will be acquiring land from residences,” said Leonard.
According to project update documents, access to Ager Road from MD 500 eastbound will be temporarily closed as the Ager Road and MD 500 intersection is realigned. Access to Ager Road from MD 500 westbound will be open throughout construction. Drivers on Ager Road won’t be able to turn onto MD 500, but a detour will direct them to Hamilton Street, where signal times will be adjusted to minimize congestion.
Commuters can expect lane closures during off-peak hours on weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and overnight, Sunday through Thursday, from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Additional work hours may be scheduled to keep the project on schedule.
Founder and coordinator of the Hyattsville Corridor Community, Yvette Shaw, worries about the impact the project will have on residents who, like herself, use the road daily.
“I’m neither in support [of] or opposed to it; I just want it done right because the people who live here are the ones who have to deal with whatever construction the State Highway Administration has [approved]” Shaw said.
Construction is scheduled to end by 2022.