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City Council proposes committee for bypass

October 10, 2000

City Council proposes committee for bypass



By DAN KULIN / Staff Writer


After years of considering a Funkstown bypass, Hagerstown City Council members want to form a committee to study the matter.

"We need to start engaging in a real discussion on where the road will be built, how to pay for it," Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said Tuesday.

The bypass, which is now being called Southern Boulevard, could cost as much as $20 million and would be north of downtown Funkstown and connect Edgewood Drive to Oak Ridge Drive. The road would divert traffic that is now clogging Funkstown streets.

Metzner said the council and the County Commissioners should discuss the matter at an upcoming joint meeting.

He said staff and elected officials from the city, Washington County and Funkstown should be on a committee to study the road.

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Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said state officials should also be on the committee.

"The time's now and if we need to drive it let's drive it," Saum-Wicklein said.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said the matter will probably be discussed during the council's November meeting with the County Commissioners.

A proposal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter along Edgewood Drive near the Funkstown town line has prompted recent discussion of the bypass/Southern Boulevard.

Funkstown residents and officials have said the traffic from such a development will ruin their town. Many have said the plan again shows the need for a bypass.

The road would probably go through Hagerstown, Funkstown and unincorporated areas in Washington County.

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II has said consideration should be given to creating a special taxing district to pay for the new road.

But any funding plan is expected to be complicated because the road would go through several jurisdictions.

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