Maryland Route 97
|Maintained by MDSHA|
|Length:||55.27 mi (88.95 km)|
|South end:||US 29 / MD 384 in Silver Spring|
|MD 27 in Westminster|
|North end:||PA 97 near Littlestown, PA|
Maryland Route 97 (MD 97) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. The route runs 55.27 mi (88.95 km) from U.S. Route 29 in Silver Spring, Montgomery County north to the Pennsylvania border in Carroll County, where the road continues into that state as Pennsylvania Route 97. Throughout most of Montgomery County, MD 97 is known as Georgia Avenue, which continues south from the southern terminus along US 29 into Washington, D.C. It is a suburban four- to six-lane divided highway from Silver Spring north to Olney. From here, the route continues as a rural two-lane road north through Brookeville and into Howard County. MD 97 continues through Carroll County where it passes through the county seat of Westminster. The route intersects many major roads, including Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) north of Silver Spring, Maryland Route 200 (Intercounty Connector) in Aspen Hill, Maryland Route 28 in Norbeck, Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 in Cooksville, Maryland Route 26 in Dorsey Crossroads, and Maryland Route 27, Maryland Route 32, and Maryland Route 140 in the Westminster area.
With the creation of the U.S. Highway System in 1926, present-day MD 97 north of Westminster became a part of U.S. Route 140. The designation MD 97 was first used by 1940 for the road running from US 29 in Silver Spring to north of US 40 in Cooksville. An extension of the route by 1960 took it to the Pennsylvania border northwest of Emmitsburg, Frederick County. It replaced Maryland Route 570, which ran from MD 26 to just north of the Carroll-Howard county line, paralled MD 32 between Westminster and Taneytown, and replaced MD 32 from Taneytown to the Pennsylvania border. By 1979, MD 97 was shifted onto its current alignment north of Westminster with the removal of US 140 from the U.S. Highway System; the MD 140 designation was applied to the former MD 97 that ran northwest from Westminster.
Route description 
Maryland Route 97 runs through the Washington, D.C. suburbs in Montgomery County, connecting several communities including Silver Spring, Wheaton, Glenmont, Norbeck, and Olney. It continues north from there into rural areas of Howard and Carroll counties, passing through the Carroll County seat of Westminster, before reaching the Pennsylvania border.
Montgomery County 
Maryland Route 97 begins at an intersection with U.S. Route 29 and Maryland Route 384 (Colesville Road) in downtown Silver Spring in Montgomery County, heading north on Georgia Avenue, a six-lane divided highway with a 30 mph (48 km/h) speed limit. Washington Metro's Red Line runs below the route at this point. From the route’s southern terminus, Georgia Avenue continues south as part of US 29 toward Washington, D.C. MD 97 passes commercial areas of high-rise buildings in Silver Spring before heading into residential neighborhoods. The route intersects the northern terminus of Maryland Route 390 (16th Street), which heads south and becomes 16th Street Northwest upon entering the District of Columbia. It continues north as a six-lane undivided road with reversible lanes through commercial areas before coming to a modified cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway). Past this interchange, the road becomes a divided highway again and intersects Maryland Route 192 (Forest Glen Road). MD 97 passes more residences as a 35 mph (56 km/h) road that continues toward Wheaton. The road heads into business areas again as it intersects Maryland Route 586 (Veirs Mill Road) near the Westfield Wheaton shopping mall. A short distance later, the road crosses Maryland Route 193 (University Boulevard) and continues back into residential areas past that intersection. The route heads into a mix of residential and commercial areas as it heads toward Glenmont, where it crosses Randolph Road. A short distance later, MD 97 intersects the southern terminus of Maryland Route 182 (Layhill Road).
From here, MD 97 turns northwest through residential neighborhoods, where as a 45 mph (72 km/h) road it passes the Glenmont station terminus of Washington Metro's Red Line, before reaching some businesses near the intersection with the northern terminus of Maryland Route 185 (Connecticut Avenue) in Aspen Hill. It turns north again past this intersection and crosses Bel Pre Road. After crossing Bel Pre Road, the route heads into wooded neighborhoods before it passes through a mix of businesses and houses, with Maryland Route 655 running to the west of the road. MD 97 crosses Maryland Route 28 (Norbeck Road) in Norbeck, and continues past some residences where it intersects Maryland Route 655A, a short connector that provides access to westbound MD 28. MD 97 enters more wooded areas and narrows to four lanes, interchanging with Maryland Route 200 (Intercounty Connector). The route eventually passes parkland and residential areas as it crosses Emory Lane. The road approaches Olney and passes by residential neighborhoods before heading into a business district at the intersection with Maryland Route 108 (Olney Sandy Spring Road). After this intersection, the road heads into wooded residential areas as a two-lane undivided road, with the speed limit dropping to 40 mph (64 km/h) and then to 30 mph (48 km/h) as the road enters Brookeville. Upon entering Brookeville, MD 97 becomes High Street and passes more residences. The route makes a left turn onto Market Street and continues through wooded residential areas. It heads out of Brookeville, with the name changing back to Georgia Avenue and the speed limit increasing to 40 mph (64 km/h). The road heads into a more rural setting, with areas of farms, woods, and some residences. MD 97 reaches Sunshine, where the speed limit decreases to 30 mph (48 km/h) and the road crosses Maryland Route 650 (New Hampshire Avenue/Damascus Road). Past Sunshine, MD 97 resumes through rural areas and enters woodland within Patuxent River State Park, with the speed limit increasing to 50 mph (80 km/h) as it approaches the Patuxent River.
Howard County 
MD 97 crosses the Patuxent River into Howard County, where it becomes Roxbury Mills Road. It continues north, passing areas of woods and farms along with suburban residential developments. The road passes through the community of Glenwood, where the speed limit drops to 45 mph (72 km/h). Upon leaving Glenwood, the speed limit climbs back to 50 mph (80 km/h) and MD 97 passes through agricultural areas before intersecting Maryland Route 144 (Frederick Road) in Cooksville. A short distance later, the route interchanges with Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40. Past this interchange, MD 97 becomes Hoods Mill Road and passes rural residential areas, intersecting Old Frederick Road. From here, the speed limit drops to 40 mph (64 km/h) as the road winds through a mix of woods, farm fields, and residences before crossing the South Branch of the Patapsco River.
Carroll County 
Upon crossing the river, MD 97 enters Carroll County and becomes Old Washington Road. The road crosses CSX's Old Main Line Subdivision railroad and the speed limit drops to 35 mph (56 km/h) as it passes wooded areas with some residences before increasing to 40 mph (64 km/h) again. It runs through a mix of woods and farms with some residences along the road. The number of residences increases as the route crosses Streaker Road in Berrett as a 35 mph (56 km/h) road. From here, MD 97 passes more residences as a 40 mph (64 km/h) road before intersecting Maryland Route 850 (Old Liberty Road) at a roundabout; a short distance later, it intersects Maryland Route 26 (Liberty Road) at a folded diamond interchange in Dorsey Crossroads. Past MD 26, MD 97 becomes New Washington Road and heads north through a mix of farmland, woodland, and residential neighborhoods, paralleled to the west by Maryland Route 854 (Old Washington Road). The road passes through woodland before intersecting Nicodemus Road, where it continues past farms and woods before crossing Maryland Route 32 (Sykesville Road) in Fenby.
Past this intersection, MD 97 passes to the east of Carroll Community College and heads into residential areas as it approaches Westminster, bypassing the center of the town to the east. The route becomes Malcolm Drive past the intersection with Main Street/Old Westminster Road and continues to an intersection with Maryland Route 140 (Baltimore Boulevard). Here, MD 97 makes a left turn to form a concurrency with MD 140 on Baltimore Boulevard, a six-lane divided highway. The two routes head through commercial areas on the outskirts of Westminster, passing by the TownMall of Westminster before interchanging with Maryland Route 27 (Manchester Road) at a folded-diamond interchange. Past this interchange, the road passes over the Maryland Midland Railway and passes more businesses. At the Sullivan Road intersection, the road becomes College View Boulevard and a short distance later, MD 97 splits from MD 140 at an interchange near McDaniel College.
MD 97 continues north on Littlestown Pike, a two-lane undivided road. The road passes Carroll County Regional Airport before heading into a mix of farmland and residences, with the speed limit increasing to 50 mph (80 km/h). MD 97 intersects the southern terminus of Maryland Route 496 (Bachmans Valley Road), and continues northwest through agricultural and wooded areas with intermittent residences, with the speed limit eventually dropping to 40 mph (64 km/h). It passes through Union Mills, where the speed limit drops to 35 mph (56 km/h) and the road intersects Old Hanover Road. The speed limit rises to 45 mph (72 km/h) upon leaving Union Mills before dropping to 35 mph (56 km/h) again as MD 97 enters Silver Run, a community of residences. Upon leaving this community, the speed limit on the route increases to 50 mph (80 km/h) as it continues through woods and farm fields. A short distance later, MD 97 reaches the Pennsylvania border, where it becomes Pennsylvania Route 97 and continues north into Adams County.
Following the creation of the U.S. Highway System in 1926, the portion of present-day MD 97 north of Westminster was designated as part of U.S. Route 140, a U.S. Highway that ran from Baltimore to Gettysburg . The designation MD 97 was first used by 1940 for the road running from US 29 in Silver Spring to north of US 40 in Cooksville, while the present-day route from MD 26 to just north of the Howard-Carroll county line was designated as Maryland Route 570. MD 97 was extended to the Pennsylvania border northwest of Emmitsburg, Frederick County by 1960, running north from Cooksville to Westminster, replacing MD 570 in its entirety, and continuing northwest from Westminster through Taneytown and Emmitsburg, paralleling a portion of MD 32 to Taneytown and replacing the route past there. Also by this time, MD 97 was widened into a divided highway between Silver Spring and Maryland Route 183 (Randolph Road) in Glenmont. The divided highway portion of MD 97 was extended further north to MD 28 by 1975. By 1979, U.S. Route 140 disappeared and MD 97 was moved to its current alignment north of Westminster, with the portion of the route that ran northwest from Westminster becoming a part of MD 140. MD 32 from Westminster to Taneytown became Maryland Route 832 by this time as well. Dualization of MD 97 in Montgomery County was extended further north from MD 28 to MD 108 by the 1990s. There are plans to build an interchange at the route’s intersection with Randolph Road in order to improve movements for automobiles as well as for pedestrians and bicycles accessing the nearby Glenmont Metro station. Another new interchange was built with Maryland Route 200 (Intercounty Connector) north of MD 28 and opened on February 23, 2011.
Junction list 
||Silver Spring||0.00||0.00||US 29 (Georgia Avenue / Colesville Road) / MD 384 south (Colesville Road) – Washington D.C.||Southern terminus of MD 97; Eastern terminus of MD 384|
|0.91||1.46||MD 390 south (16th Street) – Washington DC||Northern terminus of MD 390|
|1.44||2.32||I-495 (Capital Beltway) to I-95 – Baltimore, Northern Virginia||Exits 31A-B on I-495|
|1.61||2.59||MD 192 west (Forest Glen Road) – Kensington||Eastern terminus of MD 192|
|Wheaton||3.07||4.94||MD 586 north (Veirs Mill Road) – Rockville||Southern terminus of MD 586|
|3.47||5.58||MD 193 (University Boulevard) – Kensington, Kemp Mill|
|Glenmont||4.81||7.74||MD 182 north (Layhill Road)||Southern terminus of MD 192|
|Aspen Hill||7.00||11.27||MD 185 south (Connecticut Avenue) / Connecticut Avenue north – North Kensington||Northern terminus of MD 195|
|Norbeck||8.82||14.19||MD 28 (Norbeck Road) to MD 115 – Rockville, Burtonsville|
|9.43||15.18||MD 200 west (Intercounty Connector) to I-95 to I-270||Exits 8A-B on MD 200; Interchanged opened February 2011|
|Olney||11.89||19.14||MD 108 (Olney Sandy Spring Road) – Laytonsville, Ashton|
|17.02||27.39||MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue / Damascus Road) – Damascus, Ashton|
||Cooksville||24.58||39.56||MD 144 (Frederick Road) – Lisbon, West Friendship||Former US 40|
|25.03||40.28||I-70 / US 40 – Baltimore, Frederick||Exit 76 on I-70 / US 40|
||32.48||52.27||MD 850 (Old Liberty Road)||Roundabout, former MD 26|
|32.67||52.58||MD 26 (Liberty Road) – Libertytown, Eldersburg||Interchange|
|Fenby||39.39||63.39||MD 32 (Sykesville Road) – Gamber|
|Westminster||42.57||68.51||MD 140 east (Baltimore Boulevard) – Baltimore||Southern terminus of concurrency with MD 140|
|43.93||70.70||MD 27 (Manchester Road) – Manchester||Interchange|
|44.89||72.24||MD 140 west (College View Boulevard) – Taneytown||Interchange; Northern terminus of concurrency with MD 140|
|47.29||76.11||MD 496 north (Bachmans Valley Road) – Melrose||Southern terminus of MD 496|
|55.27||88.95||PA 97 north (Baltimore Pike) – Littlestown, Gettysburg||Pennsylvania state line; Northern terminus of MD 97|
Auxiliary route 
- MD 97A runs along and old section of MD 97 that parallels the route to the west, running from a cul-de-sac north to an intersection with MD 97 at Emory Church Road in Olney, Montgomery County. The route is 0.32 mi (0.51 km) long.
See also 
- Highway Information Services Division (2010). Highway Location Reference. Maryland State Highway Administration. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – overview of Maryland Route 97 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=US+29+and+MD+97+silver+spring,+md&daddr=39.189691,-77.064285+to:MD-97%2FOld+Washington+Rd+to:MD+97+and+PA+97+littlestown,+pa&geocode=%3B%3BFexYWQIdAN1o-w%3B&hl=en&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=11&via=1,2&sll=39.19182,-76.946869&sspn=0.235221,0.439453&ie=UTF8&ll=39.406489,-77.060852&spn=0.938,1.757812&t=h&z=9. Retrieved 2009-05-14.
- Liu, Mimi (February 23, 2011). "More than 10,000 vehicles travel on first stretch of the ICC Wednesday morning". The Gazette. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Bureau of Public Roads (1926). United States System of Highways (Map). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:1926us.jpg. Retrieved 2009-04-27.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (1927). Map of Maryland (Map). http://www.mdhighwaycentennial.com/images/template/gallery/maps/1927SIDE1.jpg. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (1940). Map of Maryland (Map). http://www.mdhighwaycentennial.com/images/template/gallery/maps/1940SIDE1.jpg. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (1960). Map of Maryland (Map). http://www.mdhighwaycentennial.com/images/template/gallery/maps/1960SIDE1.jpg. Retrieved 2009-03-03.
- Exxon (1975). Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia (Map). Cartography by General Drafting.
- Maryland State Highway Administration (1979-1980). Map of Maryland (Map). http://www.mdhighwaycentennial.com/images/template/gallery/maps/1979-80SIDE1.jpg. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- Rand McNally (1996). United States-Canada-Mexico Road Atlas (Map).
- "At-Grade Intersection Improvement MD Route 97 Georgia Avenue at Randolph Road — Project Details". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – overview of Maryland Route 97A (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=Unknown+road&hl=en&sll=39.128362,-77.071999&sspn=0.004211,0.010568&geocode=FaYFVQId6PZn-w%3BFagUVQIdHvxn-w&mra=ls&t=h&z=17. Retrieved 2012-03-03.
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