Highway work planned

July 15, 1997


Staff Writer

Two stretches of state highway in Washington County will be improved with grant money received from the state under the governor's Neighborhood Conservation Program.

The program's purpose is to revitalize existing communities in accordance with Gov. Parris N. Glendening's smart-growth initiative.

Hagerstown received $1.2 million to make street and right-of-way improvements along U.S. 40 - Franklin Street westbound and Washington Avenue eastbound - between Cannon and Walnut streets, said Richard Kautz, the city's director of planning.

"Some street work will be done; resurfacing, new pavement and new markings curb to curb," Kautz said. "From the buildings to curbs, the work will primarily be done in the intersections. We're making the roadway narrower and the pedestrian crossovers wider."


He said the design for the improvements is being done now and the work should begin during the spring or summer of 1998.

Hancock Town Manager Louis Close said the $1.4 million in improvements being done along Md. 144 from Methodist Street to Church Street are expected to get under way in July 1998.

"The state highway administration is going to redo the sidewalks on main street. They're going to repave the sidewalks and put new blacktop on the street. It'll take anywhere from 120 to 180 work days, probably six months to complete the job," Close said.

He said it's a hard project because businesses have to be kept open and the traffic controlled. In addition to the street work, part of the state's money can go for planting trees, he said.

"We might take some city money and put in new pedestrian lighting," Close said.

The program provides $48 million in state transportation funds to projects around the state designed to stimulate growth in older neighborhoods by providing roadway improvements, landscaping, sidewalk and drainage improvements, safety enhancements and other beautification efforts along state highways.

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