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Plan would bring federal money to U.S. 40 corridor

February 22, 1999

Maryland's Secretary of State and state planning, highway and tourism officials will be in Hagerstown next week for a seminar and discussion of a plan that could bring federal money to the U.S. 40 corridor, said Cindi Ptak, a project manager with the Maryland Office of Planning.

The plan will serve as the application for the federal All-American Road status for 200 miles of Maryland roads made up of U.S. 40 and Md. 144.

The route also is known as the National Road because it was the first federally funded road in the United States. Construction began in 1806 while Thomas Jefferson was president.

An All-American Road designation would make it easier to obtain federal funding for special projects. The designation also would bring national attention to the route, Ptak said.

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The plan could recommend projects ranging from a brochure highlighting area attractions to construction of a rest stop/scenic overlook, Ptak said.

It is expected that work would take two years to complete.

The state was awarded a $351,818 federal grant to complete the plan, Ptak said.

Next week's event will feature presentations in the morning and group discussions in the afternoon.

It will be held Tuesday, March 2, from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ramada Inn on Dual Highway.

Attending will be state officials including Maryland Secretary of State John T. Willis, Deputy Director of the Maryland Historic Trust Bill Pencek and Al Feldstein, with the Maryland Office of Planning Western Maryland Regional Office.

The event is open to the public. Admission is $20 per person.

For more information contact Ptak at 410-767-4432.

- Dan Kulin

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