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Commissioners review options for Robinwood Drive

January 22, 1998

By STEVEN T. DENNIS

Staff Writer

Residents of Harp Road, Partridge Trail, Greenhill Drive or Kieffer Funk Road could have a four-lane bypass of the northern end of Robinwood Drive run by their homes under plans being considered by the Washington County Commissioners.

The commissioners reviewed five options for the bypass Tuesday and said they'll take them to a public hearing.

About 50 people attended the meeting, hoping to persuade the commissioners to ditch the project or change the alignment.

County Commissioner James R. Wade said the commissioners aren't trying to ruin a neighborhood but must plan for the future.

"No matter where we put a road, people are going to be upset," he said.

The option preferred by county engineers travels 1,300 feet west of Robinwood Drive between Greenhill Drive and Partridge Trail and costs $3.67 million. It would pass through back yards of a half dozen homeowners and Covenant Presbyterian Church before intersecting with Jefferson Boulevard. Two homes would be bought.

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Other options include:

* A $3.92 million road that would link up with Harp Road before hitting Jefferson Boulevard, 3,800 feet west of Robinwood Drive. Eleven homes would be directly affected. Two would be bought.

Public Works Director Gary Rohrer recommended against this option in part because it won't address traffic from Smithsburg and Pennsylvania.

* A $6.23 million upgrade of the existing Robinwood Drive. This would include buying 29 homes on the west side of the road at a cost of $3.6 million.

* A $5.72 million route that would run east between the existing Robinwood housing development and the new Woodbridge development. The road would connect to Kieffer Funk Road, which would be upgraded to four lanes. Kieffer Funk intersects with Jefferson Boulevard 3,300 feet east of Robinwood Drive.

Thirty-three homes would be affected and five purchased.

* A $5.82 million option would go between Robinwood and Woodbridge and would come out on Jefferson Boulevard 4,300 feet east of Robinwood Drive. This would affect 17 homes. None would be bought. The road would travel through Agricultural-zoned land at the edge of the county's urban growth area.

Rohrer said the last two alignments would address traffic coming from Smithsburg but said people coming from Hagerstown or using Md. 62 would probably still use the existing Robinwood Drive.

Commissioner John S. Shank recommended ditching the options west of Robinwood or widening Robinwood. Shank said he didn't see why the county should put a road in an area that is already developed.

Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers supported Shank. Bowers also proposed upgrading Whitehall Road, which is east of Kieffer Funk Road, and connecting it to U.S. 40, and connecting Eastern Boulevard to HJC.

Rohrer said the Whitehall Road upgrade had merit but would cost well over $10 million.

Rohrer said it was important to preserve an alignment now to prevent the county from having to buy more houses when the road is built.

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