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Hopewell Road/Halfway Boulevard intersection opens

September 28, 1999

New intersectionBy SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer




A wider Hopewell Road and Halfway Boulevard intersection, complete with traffic signals, was officially opened Tuesday following a brief ceremony.

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"As you can see, this intersection is being used already," said Washington County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook, whose words during a ribbon-cutting ceremony were at times drowned out by passing traffic.

The County Commissioners have designated Hopewell Valley as an area in which they anticipate business growth during the next 20 years, Snook said.

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"We know there is other development coming and this intersection improvement is critical to be able to handle the kind of traffic that we anticipate through this intersection," said Tom Riford, marketing director for the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission.

The 2,000-acre Hopewell Valley is bounded by Md. 144 to the north, Hopewell Road to the east, Interstate 70 to the south and Md. 63 to the west.

Hopewell Valley includes Newgate Industrial Park, Crossroad Corporate Center and Hunters Green Business Park. There is also 1,000 acres of undeveloped land.

The approximately $2.7 million intersection improvements include a traffic signal, more than 4,000 linear feet of new road work, 3,600 feet of storm drain work, and nearly 2,000 feet of water lines.

As part of the project Blake Road was extended by 400 feet.

The work was done by Charles E. Brake Co. of St. Thomas, Pa.

A traffic count earlier this month found that about 8,000 vehicles go through the intersection daily, including 1,500 to 1,600 trucks, Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

Planning for the project began about three years ago, construction began on June 17, 1998, and the project was nearly finished on Sept. 2, he said.

During the ceremony Snook introduced former County Commissioners Lee Downey, John Shank and Ronald Bowers.

Hopewell Valley is home to businesses that employ more than 2,500 people, including Purina Mills, Staples Distribution Center, the Bowman-Newgate Distribution Center and TruServ Distribution Center.

In addition to the intersection, the area will soon benefit from a $17.9 million interchange at Interstate 81 and Halfway Boulevard, Snook said.

The interchange, which is expected to be open by September 2001, will include an eight-lane bridge and a partial cloverleaf design.

According to a state traffic study, about 15,000 vehicles a day use the Halfway Boulevard off-ramp, Riford said

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