FORT WASHINGTON, Md. - In less than two months, the MGM National Harbor casino will open its doors. But the new attraction will also open up the floodgates for a potential traffic nightmare.
Prince George's County police admit there will be congestion when the casino finally opens. The police chief and other county officials met with residents Wednesday night to reveal their plan to ease traffic.
“We are going to have traffic congestion just like we have at Fedex Field, just like we have around University of Maryland, before and after going into the Big Ten, just like we have at Andrews Air Force Base hosting their air show, just like we have certain events at National Harbor already,” said Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski. “Our role in that is to actively manage that for you.”
“They gave some good information about what they are planning on doing to try to control the traffic, but I just don't have a lot of faith in it,” said Oxon Hill resident Stacy Ward.
In the presentation shown to residents, there are a total of 6,000 parking spots in the parking garage and lots at the casino. However, they are expecting the attendance for the grand opening to be 25,000 to 30,000 people in a 24-hour period.
The traffic management proposals presented at the meeting showed where police will have traffic officers staged on Oxon Hill Road, which is expected to be heavily affected.
Police also said they have signed up overtime patrol officers, which is how they will staff the area near the casino, and there will not be issue when it comes to protecting the community.
At this point, no plan is set in stone and there several proposals and they are looking for feedback from local residents.