Maryland Route 3

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This article is about the Maryland state highway. For the Baltimore area bus route, see Route 3 (MTA Maryland).

Maryland Route 3 marker

Maryland Route 3
Robert Crain Highway
Maryland Route 3 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDSHA
Length: 9.56 mi[1] (15.39 km)
Existed: 1927 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-595 / US 50 / US 301 in Bowie

MD 450 near Bowie
MD 424 in Crofton

MD 175 in Millersville
North end: I-97 / MD 32 near Millersville
Counties: Prince George's, Anne Arundel
Highway system
MD 2 MD 4

Maryland Route 3 (MD 3), part of the Robert Crain Highway, is the designation given to the former alignment of U.S. Route 301 from Bowie, Maryland, USA, to Baltimore. It is named for Robert Crain of Baltimore. It is unique in Maryland in that it has a business route and a truck route which do not connect to their parent; however, the business route is also a part of the Robert Crain Highway. MD 3's current orientation is vestigial from the construction of Maryland's freeway system.

Route description[edit]

MD 3 begins within the modified cloverleaf interchange of John Hanson Highway (Interstate 595, better known as US 50) and Robert Crain Highway (US 301). Within the interchange, US 301 exits Crain Highway northbound and joins US 50 eastbound; meanwhile, Crain Highway continues northbound, beginning MD 3. After passing through another interchange with Belair Drive, containing continuing connections from the US 50/US 301 interchange, MD 3 turns northeastward, widening to eight lanes and intersecting MD 450 from the west. Here, MD 450 joins MD 3 for a short distance, crossing the Patuxent River and entering Anne Arundel County, leaving to the east approximately half a mile later.

After MD 450 leaves, MD 3 narrows to six lanes and continues northward, passing through Crofton. It first passes to the west of several subdivisions, then enters a commercial area. As it does so, it crosses MD 424 and turns to the northeast again. Along this stretch, the median between the carriageways is up to 300 feet (91 m) in width; several fast-food restaurants occupy the median in this area. The route was upgraded to this format in its persona as US 301 in 1954. The route continues in this orientation for the remainder of its route as it passes through Millersville, narrowing to four lanes at St. Stephen's Church Road and then entering a wooded area, where the route meets a final interchange with MD 32 and I-97. Interstate 97 passes under MD 3 and occupies its median for a very short distance, with MD 3 ending at ramps merging into I-97. The roadway of MD 3, however, continues for a minor distance longer, the southbound carriageway turning and crossing underneath I-97 to join with the northbound on the east side of the Interstate, and continuing north as Veterans Highway, running parallel to I-97.

The route is severely congested; attempts to bypass it with new routings have failed. One such routing would have been Interstate 297, a direct freeway link between Interstate 97 and US 50/US 301/I-595.


A one-way toad line with trees on the left and power lines on the right during a snowstorm
MD 3 southbound in Crofton during a snowstorm

In the past, Crain Highway originally held the designation MD 3, then US 301, and it currently carries both of these designations on different sections.

Started in 1922, Crain Highway was a new road built by the Maryland State Road Commission and ran from Baltimore to Southern Maryland. The original route of MD 3, completed in 1927 on a greenfield alignment, was once designated Maryland Route 761. With the opening of the Harry W. Nice Bridge in 1940 it was joined with U.S. Route 301. After the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952, US 301, which at that time ran along the current alignment of MD 3, was rerouted along US 50, across the Bay Bridge, and north to Wilmington, Delaware, as a bypass around the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. The former US 301 north of US 50 was then given back the MD 3 designation. After the construction of I-97, MD 3 was cut back to the I-97/MD 32 interchange, which led to the oddity of MD 3 Business in Glen Burnie being completely orphaned from its parent route. Despite this, the route is still designated MD 3 Business as of 2013.

If MD 3 existed as a continuous route between its original southern end near Cobb Island (now signed as MD 254 and MD 257) and its original northern end at US 1 (Wilkens Avenue) in southwestern Baltimore, running via US 301, Interstate 97, short segments of the Baltimore Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, and Monroe Street in downtown Baltimore, it would be 74.69 miles long. MD 3 was routed via the Beltway and the Parkway to divert it from city streets; originally it followed what is now MD 648 (Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard) into Baltimore, meeting Monroe Street within today's interchange between the Parkway and Interstate 95.

Junction list[edit]

County Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Prince George's Bowie 0.00 0.00 US 50 (John Hanson Highway) / US 301 (Robert Crain Highway) – Annapolis, Washington, Richmond Exit 13 (US 50); US 50 runs concurrently with unsigned I-595
0.55 0.89 Belair Drive (MD 3E) – Melford, Bowie Partial cloverleaf interchange; Belair Drive is unsigned MD 3E
2.20 3.54 MD 450 west (Annapolis Road) – Bowie South end of concurrency with MD 450
Anne Arundel Crofton 2.70 4.35 MD 450 east (Defense Highway) – Annapolis North end of concurrency with MD 450
4.66 7.50 MD 424 south (Davidsonville Road) / Conway Road west – Davidsonville
Millersville 8.13 13.08 MD 175 west (Annapolis Road) / Millersville Road east – Gambrills
8.89 14.31 MD 32 west (Patuxent Freeway) to I-97 south – Odenton, Fort Meade, Columbia, Annapolis MD 32 Exit 1; no access from southbound MD 3 to eastbound MD 32 or from westbound MD 32 to northbound MD 3
9.23 14.85 Veterans Highway to MD 178 south Northbound exit, southbound entrance
9.59 15.43 I-97 north – Baltimore Exit 7 (I-97); southbound exit from and northbound entrance to I-97
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes[edit]

Maryland Route 3 Business[edit]

Maryland Route 3 Business
Location: Glen Burnie
Length: 5.08 mi[1] (8.18 km)

Maryland Route 3 Business is a 5.1-mile (8.2 km) thoroughfare through Glen Burnie, Maryland and is the northernmost part of the Robert Crain Highway, connecting I-97 and MD 2.

MD 3 Business begins on New Cut Road at an arbitrary point just south of Grover Road, widening to four lanes undivided as it passes through that intersection. The route continues northeast for half a mile, dualizing as it passes through the intersection with I-97, where it adopts the Crain Highway name. The northern terminus of Veterans Highway also encounters MD 3 Business within this interchange. Now carrying six lanes, MD 3 Business continues through a largely commercial and residential area, in the process crossing underneath MD 100 (Pitcher Memorial Highway) with no access. The route narrows to four lanes at Oak Manor Drive immediately after, and the median closes at Madison Park Drive, replaced with a shared left turn lane. MD 174 (Quarterfield Road) merges into MD 3 Business from the west as the route enters Glen Burnie, development growing more dense along the route. At 5th Avenue, the route narrows further to two lanes.

In the heart of Glen Burnie, at Post 40 Road, the Baltimore and Annapolis Trail crosses the route diagonally, forcing trail users to utilize two crosswalks. Immediately after, MD 3 Business intersects MD 648 (Baltimore–Annapolis Boulevard), the former alignment of MD 2, which provides access to the Baltimore Light Rail. MD 3 Business continues north through the downtown area, with MD 2 (Governor Ritchie Highway) now running parallel to the route just one block to the east. Now with shoulders, MD 3 Business enters a heavy residential and commercial area for the remainder of its route. After a slight curve to the north, MD 3 Business is absorbed by MD 2, just south of the Wellham Avenue/Holsum Way intersection.

Maryland Route 3 Business is the only Business Route in the Maryland state highway system that no longer connects with its parent route. This is due to the construction of a bypass freeway, which took over the MD 3 designation as it was built; MD 3 Business was designated for the present business route as it was constructed. However, the freeway was later designated as Interstate 97, and MD 3's mainline was truncated to the point at which the freeway and MD 3 deviated onto different routes, 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Maryland Route 3 Business. Despite this, several locations on I-97 have "TO MD 3" signs posted.

The entire route is in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County.

mi[1] km Destinations Notes
0.00 0.00 Begin state maintenance Southern terminus of MD 3 Business
0.54 0.87 I-97 – Baltimore, Annapolis Interchange
2.53 4.07 MD 174 west (Quarterfield Road) – Fort Meade Eastern terminus of MD 174
3.34 5.38 MD 648 (Baltimore–Annapolis Boulevard)
4.67 7.52 MD 270 south (Furnace Branch Road) Northern terminus of MD 270
5.08 8.18 MD 2 (Governor Ritchie Highway) – Baltimore Northern terminus of MD 3 Business
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Maryland Route 3 Truck[edit]

Maryland Route 3 Truck
Location: Baltimore

Maryland Route 3 Truck is an unsigned designation given to Pratt Street eastbound and Lombard Street westbound in downtown Baltimore, running from MD 295 (Greene Street) east to President Street.[2]

The route exists despite not connecting to the current alignment of MD 3. As mentioned before, this is due to the construction of the freeways south of Baltimore taking the MD 3 designation, including MD 295. Before being given the current MD 295 designation, Paca Street and Greene Street were part of MD 3, which was the connection of MD 3 Truck to MD 3's mainline.

Auxiliary routes[edit]

  • MD 3AA is an unnamed connector road that begins at Veterans Highway and travels 0.033 miles (0.053 km) to MD 3AB (Old Section MD 3) in Millersville, Anne Arundel County. The road has no connection to MD 3.[1]
  • MD 3AB is Old Section MD 3, a 0.185-mile (0.298 km) section of road with two dead ends, connecting to MD 3AA in the middle in Millersville, Anne Arundel County.[1]
  • MD 3C is the 0.69-mile (1.11 km) section of Benfield Boulevard crossing through its interchange with I-97, between a cul-de-sac west of Najoles Road and ending as the road narrows east of Veterans Highway near Millersville, Anne Arundel County. The road has no connection to MD 3.[1]
  • MD 3D is the 0.26-mile (0.42 km) section of Brightview Drive crossing I-97, between Grover Road and Veterans Highway in South Gate, Anne Arundel County. The road has no connection to MD 3.[1]
  • MD 3E is the 0.52-mile (0.84 km) section of Belair Drive which passes through its interchange with MD 3, starting from Kendale Lane and ending at the roundabout at Science Drive and Melford Boulevard in Bowie, Prince George's County.[1]
  • MD 3F is the 0.29-mile (0.47 km) section of Governor Bridge Road which intersects US 301 just south of the US 50 interchange in Bowie, Prince George's County. It continues east to Ourismans Way. The road has no connection to MD 3.[1]
  • MD 3G is a 0.50-mile (0.80 km) section of Old Crain Drive, starting at Science Drive and continuing north to Oxford Court in Bowie, Prince George's County. The road has no connection to MD 3, but runs just east of it for a short stretch.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Highway Information Services Division (December 31, 2013). Highway Location Reference. Maryland State Highway Administration. Retrieved 2012-11-11. 
  2. ^ Maryland State Highway Administration (2004), County Map of Baltimore City PDF (3.17 MiB), 2004

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google