Traffic News: New Fort Meade main access point opens Monday at Rt. 175/Mapes Road
Fort Meade’s new gate at the junction of Annapolis Road (State Route 175) and Mapes Road will be opened with an official Grand Opening Ceremony between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday June 1. “I think anybody who commutes to Fort Meade has been frustrated in the last several years because of traffic,” said the base’s chief of media relations, Mary Doyle. Doyle also has had to commute to the base on many days and needed to make her way through the long backups. She said she is excited to see the change. The project started in November 2016. “Because of the lack of gates--ways to access the installation, there are some days when at every single gate there's been traffic backups.” The improvements are expected to help alleviate traffic by helping vehicles enter off of Route 175 as well as make it easier to exit the base, she said. Doyle said the Reece Road will remain the gate visitors go to to request permission to go on base. Since the COVID-1p pandemic precautions were put in place at the base, base traffic has been reduced by 70 percent, she noted. Fort George G. Meade Garrison Commander, Col. Erich Spragg and Command Sergeant Major Michael Behnkendorf (Bek'-in-dorf), will be joined by several distinguished guests as they mark the opening of the new access control point. Garrison leadership will be joined by Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman and Maryland State Senator Pam Biedle as well as representatives from other state and federal agencies. The ceremony officially opens the new entrance which features two wider traffic entrance lanes, which expand to three lanes once motorists are through the gate and a snaking configuration to ease the amount of traffic left waiting on Route 175. Exiting the installation, there will be two lanes leading up to the guardhouse that expand to four - two turning left, one going straight and one turning right. The $15 million military construction project was completed by the Army Corps of Engineers and built in tandem with the Maryland State Highway Administration. State Highways made intersection, traffic lighting, signal timing and lane changes to facilitate the opening of the new entrance.
The gate will be open to regular traffic at 2:30 p.m. June 1 directly following the event. Once open, the Mapes/175 gate will become the installation's primary 24/7 access control point, taking over for the Reece Road access control point. Reece Road ACP will now be open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mon-Fri and closed on weekends. ---compiled with the use of Fort Meade Press Release