Maryland kicks off major BRAC road upgrades
Aberdeen Proving Ground Commanding General Maj. Gen. Nick Justice speaks with local officials alongside Maryland 715 Oct. 5 after an official groundbreaking ceremony. A $42.6 million highway improvement project is set to begin later this month.

ABERDEEN, Md. -- A $42.6 million road project officially kicked off Oct. 5 outside Aberdeen Proving Ground. The U.S. 40/Maryland 715 highway improvement will streamline traffic getting into and out of the military installation.

Officials said the contracts have been finalized and work will begin on upgrades to the interchange later this month. This is the first BRAC-related highway improvement project to begin in Harford County.

The majority of the funding comes from the federal government, but the state is also adding in an additional $7.2 million to upgrade three key intersections near the military installation.

When the project was unveiled last December, officials said the construction will alleviate future traffic.

The additional BRAC projects will widen roads, improve intersections and continue design work for more improvements.

Officials hailed the project as critical infrastructure to support the thousands of civilian employees coming to APG. The base is growing exponentially because of the Army realignment, known as BRAC.

More than 8,000 jobs are coming to Aberdeen Proving Ground, most from closing Fort Monmouth, N.J.

"People see a lot of New Jersey license plates around, but I don't think they really understand the significance of BRAC at Aberdeen Proving Ground," said Gary Martin, the senior civilian leader from APG. "If you look around post today, we are literally transforming what goes on on-base, and will certainly transform what goes on in and around Harford County."

Martin said the Army's realignment would consolidate research, development, acquisition and testing here.

"What we do is to support the Warfighters," said Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown during an official groundbreaking ceremony along side MD-715. "We're proud of that responsibility in Maryland."

"Roughly a year from now, we will have essentially completed BRAC," Martin said. "Everything the state has done, the county and the local support on projects like this, are absolutely instrumental in supporting what we need to do on the installation."

State officials said the U.S. 40/ MD715 improvements could start as early as Oct. 20 with a goal of completion in two years. The bulk of the construction will occur during non-peak hours while leaving at least one lane open at all times.

Martin said the magnitude of traffic coming on-post relies on these projects.

"For most folks on the installation, this is a big deal," Martin said. "In the end, about 22,000 people is a pretty significant transformation for the community."

Page last updated Fri September 9th, 2011 at 07:58