Jun. 8—A new Park and Ride lot with 265 spaces opened this week off Route 924, between Route 24 and Woodsdale Road in Abingdon, giving people a place to connect with local and regional bus transit systems.
The lot opened Monday after about a year of construction, which included times when work crews were repaving segments of Woodsdale Road late at night. It is part of the state's $1.1 billion project to extend Express Toll Lanes north along I-95 into Harford County.
"This Park and Ride facility is an important piece of the I-95 ETL Northbound Extension, which will benefit countless commuters traveling through the Baltimore region every day," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement included in a press release from the Maryland Transportation Authority, which owns and operates toll facilities throughout the state.
The governor described the lot as "another example of how infrastructure investment can help us improve transportation options and grow Maryland's economy."
Motorists can enter the lot, either by making a right turn while heading north on Route 924, just before Woodsdale Road, or they can get to it from Woodsdale Road using a new entrance near the shopping center with businesses such as a Wawa convenience store and gas station, and Friendship Wine & Liquor. Riders also can walk to the lot via an extended sidewalk along the northbound side of Route 924.
The lot has, in addition to parking spaces, facilities for bicycles and three shelters where people can connect with either Harford Transit LINK bus service — the lot is a new stop along the Route 2 Blue Line — or Maryland Transit Administration regional bus lines.
Lot construction started in mid-June of 2020, with some closures of Route 924 and Woodsdale Road happening within "off-peak" hours during the day and night as crews worked along those roads.
The construction project was highlighted in the news release as "an example of the important work accomplished during the state's COVID-19 emergency while maintaining focus on the health and safety of work crews and the public."
"This new Park and Ride is an important asset in our effort to expand transportation access and options for everyone traveling the I-95 corridor," Greg Slater, chairman of the MDTA and the state's transportation secretary, said in a statement.
"By accommodating transit, ridesharing, bicycles and pedestrians, the Park and Ride will serve as a vital hub for commuters and community residents," Slater continued.
The MDTA operates bridges, tunnels and toll roads, including the current Express Toll Lanes between I-895 in Baltimore and Route 43 in White Marsh. Those ETLs opened in 2014 and run parallel to existing non-toll lanes of I-95, in order to relieve congestion on a highway heavily used by commuters.
The agency sought in 2019 public input on plans to extend two express lanes north into Harford County, from Route 43 to north of the I-95 interchange with Route 24. The project area covers more than 10 miles of highway.
The Park and Ride lot in Abingdon is one of multiple features of the ETL extension project, which is under construction and expected to conclude in 2027. The toll lanes are slated to open to traffic at the Route 152 interchange in 2024 and at Route 24 three years later.
Other elements include building new noise walls along I-95, replacing aging highway bridges, including the Abingdon Road and Clayton Road overpasses, plus the replacement of the interchange of I-95 and Route 152, scheduled to happen this coming winter.
The Park and Ride lot at Route 152 will be closed during construction, and motorists can use the new lot off of Route 924. Another lot will be built for the Old Mountain Road area around Route 152 once the new interchange is finished, according to the news release.