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The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) initiated a project planning study for the two-lane portion of MD 404 from east of US 50 to the Denton Bypass in early 1986. In 1989, an Environmental Assessment/Section 4 (f) Evaluation (EA/4(f)) was developed and approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to address the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. Citizen input was provided at the combined Location/Design Public Hearing on June 26, 1989 and subsequent written comments were considered in determining the selected Alternate, Alternate 3 Modified. On November 15, 1991, FHWA approved the Find of No Significant Impact/Section 4(f) Evaluation (FONSI/4(f)).

Project Purpose and Need

The purpose of this project, as documented in the 1991 Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI/4(f), is to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety along MD 404, particularly during peak traffic volumes on summer weekends.

  • Nearly 18,000 vehicles travel along MD 404 every day – truck traffic accounts for 16% of the traffic.
  • During the summer, 23,000 vehicles travel the two-lane road every day.
  • MD 404 has historically experienced collision rates that exceed the statewide average. Between 2005 and 2014, 402 crashes and 12 fatalities occurred on MD 404.
  • In addition to addressing congestion and safety issues, the widening of MD 404 will also ensure emergency access and evacuation, and provide support and local access for existing and committed development in Maryland’s eastern shore.