Hershey Bill Advances Efforts to Dualize Route 404

Sen. Steve Hershey (R-36-Upper Shore) recently introduced Senate Bill 900 before the Senate Finance Committee.  If enacted the bill would require Maryland’s State Highway Administration to plan and design a four-lane highway for any county not currently bisected by one.  Maryland Route 404 would qualify under this legislation. 

“Route 404 through Caroline, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties is one of the state’s most dangerous roads.  Senate Bill 900 would require the state to complete the design and planning stages of its dualization,” said Hershey.

The legislation stems from a November 14, 2013 Consolidated Transportation Program meeting attended by officials from the Maryland Department of Transportation and Caroline County officials.  During that meeting Sen. Hershey questioned why there was no funding for Route 404 improvements beyond the current 1.5 mile expansion.

Speaking on the state’s piecemeal approach to 404’s dualization, Hershey said, “There is a stark contrast in how the state is handling certain transportation projects.  On one hand, Montgomery County’s Purple line and Baltimore City’s Red line are to be constructed in one fell swoop, on the other, Caroline County will watch the state’s mile by mile approach for the next 50 years before it has a completed four lane highway.”

During the testimony of SB900 Hershey stated, “Caroline officials have long stressed the dualization of Route 404 as a priority, it’s a part of the County’s Master Plan.  But if there is any doubt by the officials at SHA as to whether expanding Route 404 was a Caroline County priority, this bill should clear it up.”

Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood, who joined Sen. Hershey in testifying in support of the bill said, “There have been over 90 fatalities since the county has kept records on it.  This road has changed lives.”

John Fiastro Jr.
Chief of Staff
Office of Senator Stephen S. Hershey, Jr.
11 Bladen Street, Office #416
Annapolis, MD, 21401