Maryland Route 279 (MD 279) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as Elkton Road and Newark Avenue, the state highway runs 4.95 miles (7.97 km) from U.S. Route 40 (US 40) and MD 7 west of Elkton to the Delaware state line north of Elkton, where the highway continues as Delaware Route 2 (DE 2). MD 279 functions as a northern bypass of Elkton and is the primary highway to Newark, Delaware, from Maryland. The state highway was constructed in the 1910s. The highway was realigned north of Elkton in the early 1960s when Interstate 95 (I-95) was constructed through eastern Cecil County. MD 279 bypassed Elkton with an extension to US 40 in the late 1960s; the old alignment to downtown Elkton was designated MD 268.
MD 279 begins at an intersection with US 40 (Pulaski Highway) west of Elkton. MD 7 (Philadelphia Road) heads south and west from the opposite side of the intersection. MD 279 heads northeast as two-lane Elkton Road, passing the Elkton YMCA before crossing Little Elk Creek and entering the town limits of Elkton. The state highway intersects MD 545 (Blue Ball Road) and curves to the east ahead of the junction with MD 213 (Bridge Street), where the highway becomes Newark Avenue and expands to three lanes with a center turn lane. MD 279 goes through a residential area where the highway passes Gilpin Manor Elementary School and Elkton Middle School before the intersection with MD 268 (North Street). The state highway becomes Elkton Road again and crosses Big Elk Creek, leaving the town limits of Elkton and immediately meets the southern terminus of MD 316 (Appleton Road). MD 279 continues northeast as a four-lane divided highway. The state highway intersects Belle Hill Road in the midst of a commercial area catering to travelers before meeting I-95 (John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway) at a cloverleaf interchange. MD 279 intersects MD 277 (Fletchwood Road) immediately before reaching its northern terminus at the Delaware state line. The highway continues northeast as DE 2 (Elkton Road) toward Newark.
MD 279 was paved as a state-aid road from the northern limit of Elkton to the Delaware state line by 1915. The state highway was completed by 1921 when North Street within Elkton was surfaced. Outside of Elkton, MD 279 followed present day MD 316 north from Big Elk Creek, veered east onto Belle Hill Road, then followed its present alignment northeast to the state line. In 1963, the state highway moved to its present alignment between Big Elk Creek and I-95 in conjunction with the construction of the highway's interchange with I-95. MD 279 was extended west on a new alignment to US 40 west of Elkton in 1967; North Street was redesignated MD 268. The divided highway between MD 316 and the state line was completed around 1983.