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Traffic is heavy, but wrecks are few

November 30, 1998|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Heavy holiday traffic moved smoothly through Washington County as motorists traveled to their homes Sunday, with only minor accidents reported.

Maryland State Police officials said traffic was extremely busy throughout the day.

Related traffic accidents in the county were concentrated on Interstate 70, according Sgt. D.W. Kloos with the Hagerstown Barracks.

"None of them were serious," he said.

State Police at Hagerstown and local police added patrols in Washington County targeting aggressive drivers, speeders and drunken and drugged drivers.

More officers on the highways helped to keep traffic moving because troopers were able to reach accident scenes quicker, said Kloos.

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"We don't have to wait long for them to get to the scene," he said.

Police said Interstates 95, 81 and 270 were also heavily traveled in the area.

State Police at Frederick reported an increase in afternoon and evening traffic, along with minor auto accidents.

Hagerstown City Police Sgt. Mark Renner said Sunday's local traffic hadn't increased much despite the holiday travelers.

"Traffic was extremely busy Wednesday evening traveling out of the city, but for the rest of the weekend it's been normal," he said.

On Wednesday a minor two-car accident on I-70 closed one lane westbound near Whitehall Road for 45 minutes, backing up cars for 20 miles into Frederick County.

Police rerouted traffic onto U.S. 40 and U.S. Alternate 40.

Hoping to lesson gridlock and vehicle accidents this weekend, officials from the State Highway Administration stopped maintenance and construction work affecting travel lanes from noon Wednesday until Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The Maryland Department of Transportation and the SHA provided information to motorists using radio stations and message signs about traffic problems along major routes throughout the weekend.

An estimated 554,000 people in Maryland traveled by car this Thanksgiving, according to the AAA Mid-Atlantic, Maryland Division.

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