BERLIN – A Lidl grocery store has been proposed for the property at the intersection of Route 589 and Route 50 in Berlin.
Lidl (pronounced leedle), a popular German grocery store, is planned for the property known as the Cropper Farm on the south side of Route 50 at its intersection with Route 589.
“Lidl US, LLC is presently planning to construct a Lidl grocery store on the northeast portion of that property owned by the William E. Cropper Trust,” attorney Mark Cropper said. “They’re anticipating initiating the formal zoning approval process in the very near future.”
According to its website, Lidl has 10,000 stores in 27 countries and has been seeking development sites up and down the East Coast. The Worcester County Commissioners this week agreed to send a letter to the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) in support of an extension of Samuel Bowen Boulevard to allow for access to the proposed Lidl site in Berlin. According to county staff, when the company’s engineers presented SHA with access plans showing the extension of the service road from its current terminus at McDonalds to the Route 50 intersection with Route 589, officials expressed concern.
“SHA had concerns with this proposal based in part upon the proposal to add an additional leg on this intersection, resulting in additional traffic light phases,” wrote Ed Tudor, the county’s director of development review and permitting, in a report to the commissioners.
Tudor told the commissioners that SHA was under the impression the county didn’t want additional traffic signal limitations on Route 50. SHA officials also cited plans for a potential overpass at the highway’s intersection with Route 589.
Tudor, pointing out that he’d worked on the plans for the service road since 1997, said that while it had initially been proposed to run from Holly Grove Road to the Atlantic Aquatec property, in 2004 plans had been made to extend it to Seahawk Road.
“Throughout this time there were no official conversations for anything other than an at-grade connection of the service road to US Route 50 at Route 589,” Tudor said.
He said the concept of an overpass was brought up and outlined in the Maryland 589 Corridor Feasibility Study Vision Plan in 2010 but that the commissioners declined to adopt the plan.
“No formal or substantive work on the issue has occurred since,” Tudor said.
Cropper, who represents both Lidl and the William E. Copper Trust, said that even if there are plans to someday construct an overpass at the intersection, SHA has numerous other priorities and doesn’t have the funding for an overpass at this time.