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County launches Hopewell Valley intersection project

June 17, 1998|By STEVEN T. DENNIS

County leaders broke ground Tuesday on the $2.5 million upgrade to the Halfway Boulevard/Hopewell Road intersection, which will improve access to the Hopewell Valley industrial zone.

"For every kind of major center you need a good front door," said John C. Howard, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

Howard said the new intersection, combined with the upgrade of the Halfway Boulevard/Interstate 81 interchange and the future extension of Halfway Boulevard to Md. 63, will significantly increase the opportunities for economic development in the area.

County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said the the project is "the next phase in the future of Washington County.

"The groundwork has been laid, the pipes have been put in the ground."

Snook said the intersection improvements, which will widen Halfway Boulevard to up to seven lanes and Hopewell Road to five lanes to provide for turning lanes, will improve the appearance, traffic flow and safety of the area.

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Development of the 1,800 acre Hopewell Valley area is critical to the success of the nearby Conococheague Wastewater Treatment Plant. Thousands of jobs, and $20 million in road and other improvements are included in concept studies for the area.

County Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said the project should be complete by winter.

The project also includes an extension of Blake Road.

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