U.S. Route 301 in Maryland

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 301 in Maryland. For the entire route, see U.S. Route 301.

U.S. Route 301 marker

U.S. Route 301
Route information
Maintained by MDSHA
Length: 122.85 mi[1] (197.71 km)
Existed: 1940 – present
Tourist
routes:
Religious Freedom Byway
Religious Freedom Tour Scenic Byway
Major junctions
South end: US 301 at Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
 

MD 5 in Brandywine
MD 4 in Upper Marlboro
US 50 in Bowie
I-97 in Annapolis
MD 2 in Annapolis
MD 18 near Queenstown
MD 213 near Centreville

MD 313 near Galena
North end: US 301 in Warwick
Highway system
MD 300 MD 301
"Blue Star Memorial Highway (Maryland)" redirects here. See also, U.S. Route 50 in Maryland#Blue Star Memorial Highway

U.S. Route 301 in Maryland is a major highway that runs from Delaware to the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge into Virginia. It passes through three of Maryland's four main regions: the Eastern Shore, the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, and Southern Maryland. US 301 serves mainly as a bypass of Baltimore and Washington from Delaware to Virginia.

Route description[edit]

US 301 is a Blue Star Memorial Highway for its entire length in Maryland. The Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland declared the U.S. Highway a Blue Star Memorial Highway as a tribute to the United States Armed Forces in 1948, and a 1953 resolution signed by Governor William Preston Lane, Jr., officially dedicated US 301 as such.[2] The highway's primary name from the Potomac River to Bowie is Robert Crain Highway.[1] Robert Crain was a Charles County farmer and lawyer who spearheaded the construction of a new highway to directly connect Baltimore and Southern Maryland that was completed in 1927.[3] Along its concurrency with US 50 and unsigned I-595 from Bowie to the Severn River, US 301 follows John Hanson Highway.[1] The freeway is named for John Hanson, the first President of the Continental Congress in 1781.[4]

Short portions of US 301 are included among several Maryland Scenic Byways. US 301 is part of the Religious Freedom Tour Scenic Byway, from MD 257 to MD 234 near Newburg and from Popes Creek Road at Faulkner to Chapel Point Road at Bel Alton in southern Charles County. That byway is also a National Scenic Byway, the Religious Freedom Byway. US 301 is included in the Booth's Escape Scenic Byway from the Potomac River to Edge Hill Road in Newburg, from Popes Creek Road at Faulkner to Bel Alton Newtown Road at Bel Alton, and along its concurrency with MD 5 from Waldorf to Brandywine. The U.S. Highway is part of the Star-Spangled Banner Scenic Byway from MD 382 at Marlton to MD 725 in Upper Marlboro.[5]

US 301 is almost entirely maintained by the Maryland State Highway Administration. The exceptions include the Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge across the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge across the Chesapeake Bay and the respective bridges' approach roads and toll plazas.[1] US 301 is a part of the National Highway System for its entire length.[1][6]

Newburg to Bowie[edit]

US 301 enters Maryland at the Virginia state line on the right bank of the Potomac River near Dahlgren in King George County, Virginia, from which the U.S. Highway continues toward Bowling Green and Richmond. The highway crosses the Potomac River on the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, a two-lane continuous truss bridge. US 301 expands to a four-lane divided highway just east of the southbound-only toll plaza for the bridge and to the north of the Morgantown Generating Station. The highway parallels CSX's Popes Creek Subdivision on a sweeping curve from east to north through the community of Newburg. US 301 passes a welcome center and has a directional crossover intersection with MD 257 (Rock Point Road). The highway curves northwest at its directional crossover intersection with MD 234 (Budds Creek Road) at the hamlet of Glasva, then curves north again between Faulkner and Bel Alton, from which Chapel Point Road leads west to Chapel Point State Park.[1][7]

US 301 passes through the hamlet of Spring Hill shortly before it enters the town of La Plata, the county seat of Charles County. The highway passes to the west of the center of town and intersects MD 6, which heads east as Charles Street and west as Port Tobacco Road, and MD 225 (Hawthorne Road). US 301 leaves La Plata at Rosewick Road and gradually curves northeast toward White Plains. There, the highway meets the eastern end of MD 227 (Marshall Corner Road), passes near the eastern end of the Indian Head Rail Trail, and intersects Billingsley Road, which leads to the southern end of MD 925 (Old Washington Road). US 301 expands to six lanes near Smallwood Drive as the highway passes through the planned community of St. Charles, which contains St. Charles Towne Center. The highway continues through the unincorporated town of Waldorf, where the highway meets the eastern end of MD 228 (Berry Road) and MD 5 Business (Leonardtown Road).[1][7]

Robert Crain Highway in Prince George's County

At the north end of Waldorf, US 301 has a partial intersection with MD 5 (Mattawoman Beantown Road); access from northbound MD 5 to southbound US 301 is via Mattawoman Drive. The two highways curve north and cross Mattawoman Creek into Prince George's County. The highway temporarily gains extra lanes while passing through the area north of the county line, during which the highways cross Timothy Branch. US 301 and MD 5 diverge at a partial interchange in Brandywine, from which MD 5 continues north along Branch Avenue toward Washington and US 301 drops to four lanes. US 301 curves northeast and intersects Brandywine Road, which heads east through the center of Brandywine as MD 381. Brandywine Road to the west provides access from southbound US 301 to northbound MD 5 and from southbound MD 5 to northbound US 301. US 301 heads through the communities of Cheltenham and Rosaryville, where the highway passes along the east side of Rosaryville State Park. The highway continues through Marlton, where it crosses Charles Branch and meets the northern end of MD 382 (Croom Road).[1][7]

Old Crain Highway splits north from US 301 as the highway approaches Upper Marlboro, the county seat of Prince George's County. The U.S. Highway curves north and intersects the Pope's Creek Subdivision rail line and crosses the Western Branch of the Patuxent River south of its cloverleaf interchange with MD 4 (Stephanie Roper Highway). US 301 meets the eastern end of MD 725 (Marlboro Pike) east of Upper Marlboro. The highway continues north and gains a wide median at the southern edge of the city of Bowie. There, the U.S. Highway intersects Old Central Avenue, which is part of MD 978, and has a six-ramp interchange with MD 214 (Central Avenue). The movements from northbound US 301 to eastbound MD 214 and from eastbound MD 214 to southbound US 301 are made via Old Central Avenue. US 301 follows the eastern city limit of Bowie and expands to six lanes south of its intersection with MD 197 (Collington Road). The U.S. Highway briefly fully enters the city of Bowie just south of its cloverleaf interchange with US 50 (John Hanson Highway) and MD 3, which heads north along Robert Crain Highway while US 301 heads east concurrent with US 50 and unsigned I-595.[1][7]

Bowie to Queenstown[edit]

US 301 and US 50 heads east along John Hanson Highway, a six-lane freeway, across the Patuxent River into Anne Arundel County. The highways have junctions with MD 424 north of Davidsonville and the southern end of I-97 in Parole. US 301 and US 50 pass to the north of Annapolis, which is accessed by interchanges with MD 665, MD 450, MD 2, and MD 70. MD 2 joins the U.S. Highways along the freeway to cross the Severn River, where I-595 ends and the freeway's name changes to Blue Star Memorial Highway. MD 2 splits north from the U.S. Highways at a common interchange with the eastern end of MD 450. US 301 and US 50 meet MD 179 near Cape St. Claire and pass by Sandy Point State Park right before the highways use the dual-span Chesapeake Bay Bridge to cross the Chesapeake Bay. US 301 and US 50 meet MD 8 on Kent Island in Queen Anne's County. The six-lane freeway parallels MD 18 and has numerous right-in/right-out interchange with local roads as it passes through Stevensville and Chester. US 301 and US 50 parallel MD 18 across the Kent Narrows onto the mainland of the Delmarva Peninsula, then the freeway continues through more right-in/right-out interchanges in Grasonville before the U.S. Highways diverge at Queenstown.[1][7]

Queenstown to Warwick[edit]

US 301 reduces to a four-lane non-freeway divided highway with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h) at its partial interchange with US 50 (Ocean Gateway). The highway passes along the edge of the town of Queenstown, where the highway meets MD 18 (Main Street) and MD 456 (Del Rhodes Avenue) at a pair of superstreet intersections. Access from southbound US 301 to eastbound US 50 and from westbound US 50 to northbound US 301 is via MD 18 at the Queenstown Premium Outlets. US 301 gradually curves northeast as it passes to the south and east of Centreville, the county seat of Queen Anne's County. The highway has a five-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with MD 213 (Centreville Road) south of town and a superstreet intersection with MD 304 (Ruthsburg Road) north of Mill Stream Branch. US 301 has an oblique at-grade crossing of the Centerville Branch of the Northern Line of the Maryland and Delaware Railroad. The highway parallels the railroad through an intersection with MD 305 (Hope Road) at Carville and unsigned MD 834 (Hayden Clark Road), where the median temporarily widens for the Bay Country Welcome Center.[1][7]

US 301 diverges from the railroad at its intersection with MD 405 (Price Station Road) at Price. The U.S. highway continues north through an intersections with MD 19 (Roberts Station Road) and the western end of MD 302 (Barclay Road) and a superstreet intersection with MD 300 (Sudlersville Road). US 301 has a four-ramp partial cloverleaf interchange with MD 290 (Dudley Corner Road) just south of Red Lion Branch. The U.S. Highway has a superstreet intersection with MD 544 (McGinnes Road) just west of that highway's eastern end at MD 313 and just south of Unicorn Branch. US 301 crosses the Chester River into Kent County west of Millington. The highway continues through an indirect interchange with MD 291 (River Road); access to MD 291 is via side ramps with two unsigned portions of MD 701, which parallels the northbound and southbound sides of US 301 as Howard Johnson Road and Edge Road, respectively.[1][7]

US 301 has an at-grade railroad crossing with the Chestertown Branch of the Northern Line of the Maryland and Delaware Railroad west of the junction of the two Northern Line branches at Massey. North of the railroad, the U.S. highway has a superstreet intersection with MD 313 (Galena Massey Road) south of Galena. US 301 has a diamond interchange with MD 290 (Galena Sassafras Road) before crossing the Sassafras River into Cecil County west of Sassafras. The highway meets the northern end of MD 299 (Massey Sassafras Road) and passes to the south of Warwick. US 301 reduces to two lanes shortly before it reaches the Maryland–Delaware state line. The U.S. Highway continues northeast into New Castle County toward Middletown and Newark.[1][7]

History[edit]

MD Route 3.svg
MD Route 71.svg

In 1940, the completion of the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge heralded the entry of US 301 into Maryland. A short connector between the northern end of the bridge and MD 3 resulted in the majority of the latter route being taken over by US 301, with only a small portion remaining signed as MD 3 (this portion is now MD 257).

Originally, the route went all the way along former MD 3 into Baltimore and ended near present-day Maryland Route 295 Russell Street. As US 301, it was upgraded into a four- and six-lane divided highway throughout in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s, the route was rerouted along US 50 to the Eastern Shore where it split from US 50 and was routed from there up former Maryland Route 71 into Delaware. Today, Route 301 is a multi-lane highway throughout its path through the state with the exception of the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge; the nine miles (14 km) of MD 3 between US 50 and Interstate 97 is also a four- and six-lane divided highway and is part of the same continuous physical route.

The segment of the highway between the eastern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the US 50/US 301 split in Queenstown was originally built as a four-lane at-grade divided expressway. By the late 1980s, traffic levels were so high that the route was upgraded into a six-lane grade-separated limited-access expressway, with most of the intersections converted into right-in/right-out interchanges, and a few others being converted into more standard interchanges. The upgrade of the route was completed by the early 1990s.

The US 50/301 concurrency on the Eastern Shore included a four-lane drawspan connecting Kent Island to the mainland; the upgrade from 4 lanes to 6 lanes included rerouting US 50/301 onto a high-level fixed span just north of there, with the drawspan now being used for MD 18. Further north, where US 301 is running by itself as four-lane limited access, it reached MD 213 at a traffic signal which was the last full traffic signal on northbound US 301 in Maryland, but that signal was then replaced by the current interchange there.

Future developments[edit]

  • As the route enters Delaware, it becomes a two-lane roadway. However, plans exist to replace U.S. Route 301 in Delaware with a tollway that will link the divided US 301 in Maryland with Delaware Route 1, providing a multi-lane alternative to Interstate 95 between Northern Delaware and Washington, D.C.
  • A group known as the Eastern Shoreway Alliance is seeking to have US 301 from Queenstown to the Delaware line redesignated as the Eastern Shoreway [1], similar to the Ocean Gateway designation of US 50 to the south.

Junction list[edit]

County Location mi
[1]
km Exit Destinations Notes
King George Dahlgren 0.00 0.00 US 301 south (James Madison Highway) – Richmond Southern terminus of US 301 in Maryland; Virginia state line at Potomac River
Potomac River 0.00–
1.90
0.00–
3.06
Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge / Potomac River Bridge
Charles Newburg 2.17 3.49 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge Toll Plaza (southbound)
3.81 6.13 MD 257 south (Rock Point Road) – Cobb Island Directional crossover intersection
Allens Fresh 5.76 9.27 MD 234 east (Budds Creek Road) – Leonardtown Directional crossover intersection
La Plata 14.81 23.83 MD 6 (Charles Street/Port Tobacco Road) – Port Tobacco
15.54 25.01 MD 225 west (Hawthorne Road) – Indian Head
White Plains 19.55 31.46 MD 227 west (Marshall Corner Road) – Pomfret
20.77 33.43 Billingsley Road Billingsley Road east is MD 925A
Waldorf 23.31 37.51 MD 228 west (Berry Road) / MD 5 Bus. south (Leonardtown Road) – Accokeek, Hughesville
26.04 41.91 Mattawoman Drive Mattawoman Drive is MD 5K
26.26 42.26 MD 5 south (Mattawoman Beantown Road) – Lexington Park, Leonardtown No direct access from northbound MD 5 to southbound US 301; missing connections made via Mattawoman Drive; south end of concurrency with MD 5
Prince George's Brandywine 28.90 46.51 MD 5 north (Branch Avenue) – Washington Northbound exit, southbound entrance; north end of concurrency with MD 5
29.20 46.99 MD 381 south (Brandywine Road) / Brandywine Road north – Aquasco
Marlton 36.62 58.93 MD 382 south (Croom Road) – Aquasco
Upper Marlboro 40.37 64.97 MD 4 (Stephanie Roper Highway) – Prince Frederick, Washington Cloverleaf interchange
41.08 66.11 MD 725 west (Marlboro Pike) / Marlboro Pike east – Upper Marlboro
Bowie 46.22 74.38 Old Central Avenue Old Central Avenue is MD 978B
46.36 74.61 MD 214 (Central Avenue) – Washington Partial cloverleaf interchange; no access from northbound US 301 to eastbound MD 214 or from eastbound MD 214 to southbound US 301; missing movements made via Old Central Avenue
49.42 79.53 MD 197 north (Collington Road) – Laurel
50.28 80.92 13 US 50 west (John Hanson Highway) / MD 3 north (Robert Crain Highway) / Melford – Washington, Crofton Split into exits 13A (US 301 south), 13B (MD 3), and 13C (Melford); south end of concurrencies with US 50 and I-595
Anne Arundel   53.70 86.42 16 MD 424 (Davidsonville Road) – Davidsonville, Crofton
Parole 58.48 94.11 21 I-97 north – Baltimore
59.54 95.82 22 MD 665 east (Aris T. Allen Boulevard) / To Riva Road
60.20 96.88 23 MD 450 (West Street) to MD 178 – Parole, Crownsville
60.65 97.61 23A MD 2 south (Solomons Island Road) / Jennifer Road – Parole, Prince Frederick No exit eastbound; west end of concurrency with MD 2
61.92 99.65 24 MD 70 south (Roscoe Rowe Boulevard) / Bestgate Road – Annapolis Split into exits 24A (MD 70) and 24B (Bestgate Road) westbound; eastern terminus of unsigned I-595
Severn River 62.64–
63.19
100.81–
101.69
Severn River Bridge / Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge
Arnold 63.83 102.72 27 MD 2 north / MD 450 south (Governor Ritchie Highway) – Severna Park, Naval Academy, Baltimore Split into exits 27A (MD 450) and 27B (MD 2) westbound; east end of concurrency with MD 2
64.13 103.21 Baltimore–Annapolis Boulevard north Unmarked right-in/right-out interchange westbound; officially MD 648F
64.78 104.25 28 Bay Dale Drive to Old Mill Bottom Road / Ferguson Road
Cape St. Claire 66.31 106.72 29 MD 179 (St. Margarets Road/Cape St. Claire Road) / MD 908 / Busch's Frontage Road / East College Parkway Split into exits 29A (Busch's Frontage Road) and 29B (Cape St. Claire Road) eastbound; Busch's Frontage Road and East College Parkway are MD 908A and MD 908B, respectively
66.82 107.54 30 Whitehall Road Eastbound exit and entrance; Whitehall Road is MD 908C
67.80 109.11 31 Whitehall Road Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound; Whitehall Road is MD 908C
Skidmore 68.60 110.40 32 Oceanic Drive – Sandy Point State Park Oceanic Drive is MD 908D
68.89 110.87 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Toll Plaza (eastbound)
Chesapeake Bay 69.26–
73.32
111.46–
118.00
Chesapeake Bay Bridge / William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge
Queen Anne's Stevensville 74.38 119.70 37 MD 8 (Business Parkway) – Stevensville, Romancoke
75.03 120.75 38A Duke Street Right-in/right-out interchange westbound
75.05 120.78 38A Thompson Creek Road Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound
Chester 76.02 122.34 38B Services Westbound exit and entrance; frontage road is US 50QC
76.14 122.54 39A Cox Neck Road Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound
76.15 122.55 39A Castle Marina Road to MD 18 Right-in/right-out interchange westbound; Castle Marina Road is MD 18H
76.65 123.36 39B Piney Creek Road Right-in/right-out interchange westbound; Piney Creek Road is MD 18T; connector road is MD 552A (Chester Station Road)
76.67 123.39 39B MD 552 south (Dominion Road) Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound
77.30 124.40 40A South Piney Road Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound
77.33 124.45 40A Piney Creek Road Right-in/right-out interchange westbound
77.68 125.01 40B Dundee Avenue Right-in/right-out interchange eastbound
Kent Narrows 77.92 125.40 41 MD 18 (Main Street) – Kent Narrows West Westbound ramps are with Piney Narrows Road
Kent Narrows 78.20–
78.78
125.85–
126.78
Kent Narrows Bridge
Kent Narrows 79.08 127.27 42 MD 18 (Main Street) – Kent Narrows East Westbound right-in/right-out interchange with MD 835G (Kent Narrows Road); eastbound right-in/right-out interchange with MD 835 (Seward Marina Road)
Grasonville 79.76 128.36 43A Jackson Creek Road Westbound right-in/right-out interchange; Jackson Creek Road is MD 18U
79.78 128.39 43A MD 18 (Main Street) – Grasonville Eastbound right-in/right-out interchange with unnamed MD 18F
80.53 129.60 43B Chester River Beach Road No westbound exit; Chester River Beach road is MD 18V
80.93 130.24 44A VFW Avenue Westbound right-in/right-out interchange; VFW Avenue is MD 18W
80.94 130.26 44A Station Lane Eastbound right-in/right-out interchange; Station Lane is MD 18I
81.29 130.82 44B Winchester Creek Road Westbound right-in/right-out interchange; Winchester Creek Road is MD 835H
81.30 130.84 44B Evans Avenue Eastbound right-in/right-out interchange; Evans Avenue is MD 18Z
81.63 131.37 45A Hissey Road Westbound right-in/right-out interchange; Hissey Road is MD 835I
81.64 131.39 45A Hess Road Eastbound right-in/right-out interchange; Hess Road is MD 18X
82.06 132.06 45B Nesbit Road Nesbit Road is MD 835K
Queenstown 83.25 133.98 46 US 50 east (Ocean Gateway) – Ocean City Northbound exit, southbound entrance; north end of concurrency with US 50
83.81 134.88 MD 18 (Outlet Center Drive/Main Street) – Queenstown Superstreet intersection; Outlet Center Drive is MD 18S and Main Street is MD 18C
84.31 135.68 MD 456 (Del Rhodes Avenue) to US 50 – Queenstown Superstreet intersection
  89.01 143.25 MD 213 (Centreville Road) – Centreville, Wye Mills Partial cloverleaf interchange; before this was built, the junction was the last full traffic signal on US 301 in Maryland
  91.91 147.91 MD 304 (Ruthsburg Road) – Centreville, Ruthsburg Superstreet intersection
  93.60 150.63 MD 305 (Hope Road) – Centreville, Hope
  96.37 155.09 Hayden Clark Road – Bay Country Welcome Center Hayden Clark Road is MD 834
Price 98.38 158.33 MD 405 (Price Station Road) – Church Hill, Price
  100.00 160.93 MD 19 (Roberts Station Road) – Church Hill, Ingleside
  101.54 163.41 MD 302 east (Barclay Road) / Hall Road west – Barclay, Dover
  103.83 167.10 MD 300 (Sudlersville Road) – Church Hill, Sudlersville, Dover Superstreet intersection
  106.00 170.59 MD 290 (Dudley Corner Road) – Pondtown, Crumpton Interchange
  109.22 175.77 MD 544 (McGinnes Road) – Chestertown, Sudlersville Superstreet intersection
Kent   111.21 178.98 MD 291 (River Road) – Chestertown, Millington Right-in/right-out intersections with MD 701 (Howard Johnson Road) northbound and MD 701A (Edge Road) southbound
  115.10 185.24 MD 313 (Massey Galena Road) – Galena, Massey Superstreet intersection
Sassafras 118.72 191.06 MD 290 (Galena Sassafras Road) – Chestertown, Galena Diamond interchange
Cecil   120.34 193.67 MD 299 south (Massey Sassafras Road) / Sassafras Road north – Cecilton, Massey
Warwick 122.85 197.71 US 301 north (Middletown Warwick Road) – Wilmington Northern terminus of US 301 in Maryland; Delaware state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Highway Information Services Division (December 31, 2013). Highway Location Reference. Maryland State Highway Administration. Retrieved 2012-09-08. 
  2. ^ Barnabi, Rebecca J. (June 12, 2013). "Blue Star Highway Marker Finds Home at Veterans Museum". Maryland Independent (Waldorf, MD: Southern Maryland Newspapers). Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  3. ^ Staff (December 30, 2002). "Robert S. Crain". Archives of Maryland Biographical Series. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  4. ^ Staff (January 24, 2003). "John Hanson". Archives of Maryland Biographical Series. Annapolis, MD: Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  5. ^ "Maryland Byways" (PDF). Maryland State Highway Administration. pp. 109, 117, 119, 133. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  6. ^ National Highway System: Maryland (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. October 1, 2012. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Staff. Maryland General Highway Statewide Grid Map (PDF) (Map) (2014 ed.). Maryland State Highway Administration. § J11C, J11D, J11B, J11A, I11C, I11A, I11B, H11D, H11B, H12A, G12C, G12A, F12C, F12D, F12B, F13A, F13B, F14A, F14C, F14D, F14B, F15A, E15C, E15D, E15B, D15D, D15B, D16A, C16C, C16A. Retrieved 2015-02-15. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing


U.S. Route 301
Previous state:
Virginia
Maryland Next state:
Delaware