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What's a Michigan U-turn and how does it apply to construction work on state Route 3 in Crofton?

For those who travel state Route 3 where it intersects Waugh Chapel and  John Hopkins roads, you will notice a tremendous amount of clearing in the median.

The work is part of a general improvement plan to accommodate the massive amount of traffic in the area.

The county is following a type of road improvement known as a Michigan U-Turn.

Seems like a funny name for something happening here in Maryland, but here's the gist.

The term was coined after a road plan used frequently in Michigan on multilane intersections.

Here's how it works: When coming from a secondary road, drivers are directed to turn right and enter a designated U-turn -- or cross over -- lane in the median strip. When the traffic clears, the driver completes the U-turn and goes back through the intersection. This U-turn lane is also designed so that traffic only goes one way.

Traffic on the divided highway cannot turn left at an intersection. Instead, drivers bypass the intersection, go through the U-turn lane, come back to the intersection from the opposite direction and turn right.

Here is how it relates to us: Motorists who wish to drive from Waugh Chapel to Reidel roads will have to turn south onto state Route 3 and cross over to a Michigan U to come back to Reidel Road. Drivers who want to go from Reidel to Waugh Chapel will have to turn north on state Route 3 to the other Michigan U to get back to Waugh Chapel.

Traffic signals are supposed to be timed to allow for the greatest number of cars to pass safely. This method is also supposed to significantly reduce collisions because left turns will be eliminated.

This same set up will take place at the intersection of Johns Hopkins Road and state Route 3.

The Greater Crofton Council met with members from the State Highway Administration, AA Co. Dept. of Planning and Zoning and members of developer Greenberg Gibbons to come up with a solution to the traffic congestion as plans grew to develop Village South at Waugh Chapel.

The current roadwork is due to be completed by the end of this year. Meanwhile, look for changes in the way you navigate state Route 3.

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