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Maryland Route 23 east - Jarrettsville to Hickory

Maryland Route 23 pushes east from Maryland Route 165 just south of Jarrettsville, in Harford County, as East-West Highway. This opened in 1965 as a relocation of MD 23 from Jarrettsville Road just to the north. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

The speed limit is 55 miles per hour, and this portion of MD 23 is considered a limited-access highway. This is indicated by the mile markers along the highway, reflecting the distance from its southeastern terminus at U.S. Route 1 in Hickory, and by two grade-separated crossings located ahead. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

The highway is dedicated to Gold Star Mothers of the U.S. military. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

MD 23 proceeds to enter a wooded area with guardrails on either side. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

A curve in the highway sits ahead. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

MD 23 straightens out, then crosses over Morse Road next to a VFW post. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

The highway then begins descending downward amid more trees. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

Another curve, this one to the left, is at the bottom of the hill. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

The second of East-West Highway's two overpasses is over Phillips Mill Road. This bridge is much higher and longer than the one over Morse Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

MD 23 starts climbing back uphill following the Phillips Mill bridge. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

The route nears the crest of the hill as still more trees surround it. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

MD 23 now approaches an at-grade intersection, the first of two unsignalized ones on this portion of the route, with High Point Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

High Point Road leads north a short distance to West Jarrettsville Road, and south along the western edge of Forest Hill before turning hard right and becoming Pleasantville Road, which leads generally south to Baldwin in Baltimore County. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The speed limit is still 55 miles per hour. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The highway goes downhill amid a slight curve surrounded by trees. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


It then goes uphill again, with open fields lining each side of the highway and more trees ahead. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The second of the two unsignalized intersections is at Grafton Shop Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Grafton Shop Road goes from Red Pump Road west of Bel Air to West Jarrettsville Road a short distance north of here, passing west of the Forest Lakes subdivision in the process. The intersection itself is regarded as one of the most dangerous in Harford County, notorious for serious accidents over the years. While rumble strips and cable barriers have been added as safety devices, further measures, such as a traffic signal or roundabout, have been floated from time to time. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 23 reassurance follows Grafton Shop Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


At mile marker 2.6, the highway enters a passing zone as indicated by the dotted center line. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The route starts climbing sharply uphill, out of the trees. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


A signalized intersection with Maryland Route 24 is forthcoming. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


A local VEIP station is straight ahead past the signal. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 24 is known in this area as Rock Spring Road, although it becomes Rocks Road just to the north at Jarrettsville Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 23 east continues straight from here toward Hickory, while MD 24 goes north to the center of Forest Hill and south toward Bel Air. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Route markers for each direction of MD 24 are posted here. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


A close-up view of the signal and MD 23 reassurance. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Yet again, the speed limit is 55. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


From here, Hickory is 3 miles away, and Conowingo in Cecil County 17 miles via U.S. Route 1. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Another swath of trees envelops MD 23 as it passes south of commercial buildings and north of some of Forest Hill's residential developments, including Deer Spring. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The route proceeds over the Forest Hill section of the Ma and Pa Trail, a hiking and biking trail built along the former right-of-way of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. The north end of the trail is at Friends Park just to the north. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The speed is about to drop as the route nears a roundabout. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The roundabout intersects Commerce Road and was built in 2008. It serves as an entrance to the Forest Hill Industrial Airpark, centered on a landing strip for small aircraft. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Eastbound MD 23 enters the roundabout here, while westbound traffic exits it. At right, on the other side of a row of trees, is the northern section of Spenceola Farms, a multi-phase development consisting of single-family homes, townhomes, cluster homes and condominiums. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


A MD 23 shield is located at the eastbound exit of the roundabout. Some industrial buildings are meanwhile situated beside it, on the east side of Commerce Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The highway reaches mile marker 1 just past the roundabout. Behind the trees at left sits the Tuchahoe Farms development. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The speed limit prepares to drop as MD 23 enters the south side of Hickory. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The new speed limit is 45 miles per hour. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 23 now prepares to intersects Water Tower Way at a "new" traffic signal (added in 2020, three years before these photos). Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Water Tower Way serves as access from eastbound MD 23 to southbound US 1. Prior to the Hickory Bypass project, MD 23 curved sharply at this point, then turned onto Granary Road for a short distance before ending at Conowingo Road. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 23's own modern junction with US 1 is a few tenths of a mile straight ahead, while Water Tower Way leads to the VEIP station via a right at a roundabout at Granary Road and right again on Robin Circle. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The Water Tower Way signal. Besides its roundabout at Granary Road, constructed in 2017, Water Tower Way has another roundabout at Bynum Road, constructed in 2019-20. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


MD 23 then forges on to a signal at Conowingo Road, designated here as U.S. Route 1 Business. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


US 1 Business leads north to the center of Hickory and south to downtown Bel Air. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


This portion of US 1 Business was part of mainline US 1 before the construction of the Hickory Bypass in 2000. This was the same time that MD 23 was realigned to its current eastern terminus. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


Past Conowingo Road, a park-and-ride lot sits along MD 23 at left. Photo taken 08-08-2023.


The route now curves toward its eastern terminus at US 1. Photo taken 08-08-2023.

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