Construction, Design & Studies filling trail network gaps

There are a variety of gaps both large and small in the envisioned Anne Arundel Trail Network. But with support from the Anne Arundel County Bicycle Advisory Commission, BikeAAA, our government partners at Anne Arundel County, City of Annapolis and the state of Maryland and a variety of regional and national advocacy groups, we have action under way at every gap. Trail-building takes longer than any of us prefer as it moves from Study to Design to Construction.  Some of our grants are from federal programs which come with added regulation.   There are also challenges with right of way acquisition, environmental regulations and other process issues. But we have accelerated progress in the last few years and every gap segment is now in one of these phases. Here is a top level status starting at 12 o’clock and working our way around clockwise.

BWI to Baltimore

Design work is in process funded by state and federal grant sources to extend the existing BWI Trail Spur north to the Nursery Rd. Light Rail Station and then on to Baltimore City to connect to the Gwynns Falls Trail near Harbor Hospital. The in-design “Baybrook Connector” encompasses the upper portion which includes both Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City.

Broadneck Trail

The Broadneck Trail will connect to the B&A Trail at Jones Station Rd and extend to the Chesapeake Bay at Sandy Point State Park. Phases 1 and 2 from Bay Dale Drive to Cape St. Claire are complete. Phase 3 from Bay Dale to Peninsula Farm Rd. where it meets the existing “B&A Connector” is in construction. The final Phases 1b and 5 into Sandy Point Park are expected to commence construction in the spring of 2023. Upon completion we anticipate that the American Discovery Trail (Atlantic to Pacific) will reroute to use the Broadneck Trail.

B&A Trail through Annapolis

From the southern terminus of the B&A Trail at Boulter’s Way there is continuous wide bike shoulder on both sides to the Annapolis end of the U.S. Naval Academy Bridge. There has been discussion of converting this segment to a separated shared-use path but there is nothing official underway. The bike lanes abruptly end at the Annapolis side of the USNA Bridge. Through a collaboration among MD SHA, Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, U.S. Naval Academy and BikeAAA, study has been done to place a separated share-use path from the USNA Bridge on to King George St and also to the existing USNA Stadium Trail via Taylor Ave. Recent Kim Lamphier Maryland Bikeways grants will fund design work along Taylor Ave and also the “College Creek Connector ” from King George St. to the Poplar Trail. The City of Annapolis recently secured its first Transportation Alternatives Program (“TAP”) federal grant to fund construction of the “Inner WEE (West/East Express) Trail which widens the existing Poplar Trail and extends it towards downtown to Calvert St. Design work is underway for the Outer WEE extending the Poplar Trail from Admiral Drive to Rt. 2 where it would connect to existing sidepaths to Annapolis Town Center and to the South Shore Trail terminus at Anne Arundel Medical Center. Additional work is in process for trail connections in other parts of Annapolis.

South Shore Trail – Annapolis to Odenton

The South Shore Trail will connect Annapolis near Anne Arundel Medical Center with Odenton where it will connect to the WB&A Trail and Town Center Blvd sidepath. Two sections are completed: A short segment from Jennifer Rd/Medical Center Parkway to Bestgate Rd and Phase 1 from Waterbury Rd to Rt.175 Annapolis Rd. just east of Rt. 3. Phase 2 from Bonheur Rd (west side of Rt. 3) to Sappington Station Circle and the Odenton Rd Sidepath is expected to start construction in spring 2023 with funding from a TAP grant. Phases 3 and 4 from Bestgate Waterbury Rd are in design and right of way acquisition. Some work has been done to study safer crossing of Rt. 3 to better connect Phases 1 and 2 but this remains a challenging crossing.

WB&A Trail Patuxent River Bridge

This much anticipated and delayed river crossing is now in construction following a groundbreaking in May, 2022. Work is in process and completion is expected by the end of 2023. This hiker/biker bridge will join the Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County WB&A Trails. Upon completion, major national trails such as the East Coast Greenway, 911 Memorial Trail, Grand History Trail and American Discovery Trail are expected to reroute away from roads and utilize the South Shore and WB&A Trails from Annapolis to Odenton and on to Bowie.

Odenton to BWI

From the northern terminus of the WB&A Trail and Odenton Rd sidepath, there is a short connector to the Odenton MARC Station. Cyclists and pedestrians can use a ramped tunnel at the station to cross under the tracks. From there you can cross Rt 175 on Town Center Blvd to reach the existing trail up to Bluewater Drive. Bluewater has a segment of sidepath which ends before reaching the Rt 175 Trail. At the northern end of the Rt 175 Trail, there are gaps across the 295 interchange and on Milestone Parkway. A Kim Lamphier Bikeways grant is funding design for the gaps on Bluewater and Milestone. A major SHA project to overhaul the 175/295 interchange includes construction of a trail connecting the existing 175 trail to Sellner Rd. where an existing sidepath continues to the trail along National Business Parkway.

The Milestone Parkway sidepath continues along Arundel Mills Blvd but ends near Arundel Mills Mall. The gap from there across Rt.100 and on to the BWI Trail is arguably the most difficult gap in the AATN.  An SHA study is examining a potential trail along Rt 713 and Dorsey Rd to reach the BWI Trail. Also, the proposed Patapsco Greenway may provide a trail connection from the BWI Trail near Stoney Run into Patapsco State Park.