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Streetscape project to improve downtown

March 21, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Streetscape project to improve downtown

Downtown Hagerstown pedestrians and drivers will face a major renovation of roads and sidewalks next year, according to a Maryland State Highway Administration official.

The state is expected to embark on a $1 million urban streetscape reconstruction downtown in May 1999 and have it completed by that winter, said Bill Park, engineering systems team manager in LaVale, Md. The project will be paid for with state and federal funds.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening will be in Hagerstown on Monday to promote the project, which is part of his anti-sprawl Smart Growth initiative.

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The governor will tour downtown shops to talk to merchants about downtown improvements, including Public Square and a $2.1 million traffic signal upgrade and replacement project that starts Monday, officials said.

The streetscape reconstruction will improve downtown, making it a nicer area for businesses and residents, Park said.

Franklin and Washington streets will be milled and resurfaced from Potomac Street to Cannon Avenue, Park said. Milling involves grinding about an inch off the blacktop to keep the curb close to the same level.

Sidewalks and curbs also will be replaced, he said. Curbs at each intersection will be made handicap-accessible.

Curbs will be extended further into the roadway at crosswalks to make crosswalks more convenient and help control traffic, Park said.

Park said he will work with city officials to improve the approach to downtown at East Franklin Street and Cannon Avenue.

The project also includes drainage improvements and landscaping, meaning more trees, he said.

Crews will probably work during the day so residents aren't disrupted at night, he said.

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