Neighbors worried about bridge project

August 14, 1997


Staff Writer

Some residents living near Cornell Avenue said Wednesday night they were concerned a state plan to expand the eastbound U.S. 40 bridge over Antietam Creek to create a westbound turning lane would worsen traffic problems in their area.

The comments came during a Hagerstown Planning Commission meeting at City Hall in which Maryland State Highway Administration officials presented a plan to build a $1.9 million bridge expansion allowing for a westbound lane for turning onto Eastern Boulevard South.

Because the deceleration lane for the left-turn lane would cross the median onto the eastbound side, drivers would not be able to access the left-turn lane from North Colonial Drive.


One alternative for those drivers is to go down to Cornell Avenue and turn right onto Dual Highway where they would have about 600 to 700 feet to get into the left-turn lane, said Daniel Andrews, a state engineering technician.

"There's already a nightmare in traffic at the intersection of Cornell and U.S. 40," said Richard Collyer, of 102 Harvard Road. It takes several minutes to get onto U.S. 40 from Cornell. Directing traffic there from North Colonial would compound the problem, he said.

State officials and local residents agreed a right-turn only lane from U.S. 40 onto Eastern is needed to alleviate traffic congestion.

Collyer suggested a less costly solution by installing signs and pavement markings indicating the right lane was for right turns only, making the center lane the only through lane.

Paul Muldowney, who owns Supreme Concrete Block Inc. at the intersection, said he wants to see a green arrow signal for right turns in the right westbound lane.

Allowing only one through lane will be considered, said George Small, assistant district engineer for traffic, after the meeting. But, he said that would probably create a bottleneck in the westbound through lane because two lanes would be merging into one.

Small said a traffic study will be conducted for the Cornell Avenue and U.S. 40 intersection once Robinwood Drive and Mount Aetna Road have reopened. The study would determine whether a traffic light is needed there.

Construction of the bridge expansion is slated to start in March 1999 and be done by the summer of 2000.

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