Patuxent Branch Trail – Surface Upgrade

Capital Project #N3963


The goal of this project is to upgrade the surface of the currently unpaved portion of the Patuxent Branch Trail, to bring it up to the same quality as the rest of the trail. The current surface is a mix of gravel and dirt with potholes that become puddles after rain. Upgrading with a consistent asphalt finish will improve accessibility for wider variety of non-motorized users (section in red shown below)


Project Details

The project was identified as a short-term priority in the Howard County Bicycle Master Plan.

A Transportation Alternatives grant was awarded in September 2015 for design and construction. The amount of the grant is $1.09 million to address both design and construction.

Engineering and design will continue in 2022. Additional grant funds are likely to be required for construction due to the storm water runoff complexity of the project.

July 20, 2022 Presentation to Kings Contrivance Village Board

This material was presented to the Kings Contrivance Village Board on 7/20/22. 

January 19, 2022 Public Meeting

A public meeting, hosted by the Department of Public Works, Department of Recreation and Parks, and Office of Transportation was held on January 19, 2022 to discuss and receive input on potential changes to the Patuxent Branch Trail between Old Guilford Road and Vollmerhausen Road.

  • The presentation from the meeting can be found here.
  • A video of the meeting presentation with including questions from the attendees and responses from project team is available here.
  • The questions and comments received at the meeting are included here

Detailed Description

The project will support: 

  • People walking and jogging
  • People with jogging or walking strollers
  • People in wheelchairs, mobility devices and walking aids
  • People on bicycles

A paved surface will allow daily use of this trail, without puddles and mud, for both recreation and transportation by all the groups listed above.

The trail forms a critical connectivity link as part of a regional bicycle and pedestrian network between Downtown Columbia, Savage and Laurel.  For more information on this regional network, click here and see map below of current and future bicycle and pedestrian connections in Howard County.

The natural beauty of the area will be preserved, with the only change being the surface quality. The photos below show the current Patuxent Branch Trail, paved section on the left and unpaved section on the right.

PBT paved section  PBT unpaved section

The design process will evaluate the feasibility of retaining a natural surface jogging area on the side of the trail. This is a common feature of multi-use trails, including the Capital Crescent Trail in Montgomery County.  See photo below showing natural surface jogging area on the Capital Crescent Trail.

Capital Crescent Trail, dirt jogging on sides

Project Documents


If you have feedback or comments about this project, please contact Kris Singleton, the Project Manager with the Department of Public Works by email or by phone at 410-313-6138.

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