SHA to reconfigure I-70 to thwart racing
Sun photo/Algerina Perna
The State Highway Administration has announced plans to reconfigure travel patterns between the park-and-ride at the eastern terminus of Interstate 70 and the Beltway in an effort to slow traffic and deter illegal street racing on that stretch of highway.
The decision to rework that section of I-70, where low traffic volumes at night often attract racers and spectators, follows the June 21 crash in which two people were killed and two critically injured after a vehicle that had apparently been in a speed contest went out of control.
Killed were spectators Mary-Kathryn Michele Abernathy, 21, of Columbia, and Jonathan Robert Henderson, 20, of La Plata, Charles County
State highway officials will begin work Thursday to close one lane on the westbound stretch between the parking lot and the Beltway, where the crash took place. After that morning's rush hour crews will move barriers so that motorists entering from Ingleside Avenue will no longer have a clear lane but will have to merge into the westbound lane leading from the park-and-ride. Workers will also change pavement markings and install reflective barriers.
Officials said the change will significantly reduce the attractiveness of the site for street racing without impeding normal traffic flow. State highway officials said they worked closely with the Maryland State Police to decide which changes to make.