Md. Route 404 Widening Comes at High Cost for Roadside Businesse - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Md. Route 404 Widening Comes at High Cost for Roadside Businesses

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

QUEEN ANNE, Md. -- Maryland's Route 404 sees an average of 20,000 cars daily but there are also a high number of deaths seen on the highway.

That's why the state's department of transportation is working on widening the road as part of a new $1.97 billion infrastructure project.

Travelers can expect heavy traffic in the coming months as construction continues to widen Maryland's Route 404 between Starr Rd. and Route 50.

The two lane road will turn into a four lane highway from west of Route 309 to east of Tuckahoe Creek.

State lawmakers have pressed to make widening Route 404 a priority since it's notorious for bad accidents and fatalities.

Jill Kinnamon works at Hot Off the Coals BBQ right off the highway and says traffic can be terrible when there's an accident.

"People get a lot of rear ends and we just had a tractor trailer accident down the road not too long ago with a fatality," the diner manager said.

Philip Smith grew up in Denton and now lives in Baltimore. He says now that he travels back and forth to the beach, a four-lane highway is necessary.

"I know growing up before this was just two lanes all the way to Bridgeville so it was kind of annoying to us when I lived here," said Smith.

"Of course I'm for it because the faster we can get to the beach and to my family's house the easier it is."

Widening the 404 highway should hopefully improve safety and streamline traffic, but at what cost?

The diner where Kinnamon works is also a family-owned Shell gas station where the owners have had to sell much of their land to the state.

Kinnamon says all of their roadside advertisements are gone.

Most of their parking lot is gone and soon most of the station's entry points will be gone as well.

"They want to take our access from 404 away from us and have our new entry point at the back of the building," said Kinnamon.

That's a problem for the 15-year old business since the owners say this new access road may not be easily seen from such a busy highway.

"Consumers aren't going to notice or want to get off of the highway to try to find out how to get back in here," the manager said.

It's just one of many problems businesses and homeowners face as their property and livelihood are threatened along Route 404.

Part of the funding Hogan announced also includes plans to widen Route 113 from Five Mile Branch road to north of Public Landing Road in Worcester County.

Both highways would go from two lanes to four lanes and a center median will be added.

There is also a stretch of Route 404 in Delaware but the state's department of transportation says they do not have any plans for expansion as of yet. However, the department says it will be looking into improving the intersection where Route 404 meets Route 113 in Sussex County.

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