The first phase will add two lanes in both directions and a center turn lane to the section of Maugans Avenue that runs from Pennsylvania Avenue to Interstate 81. The estimated cost of that part of the project is $3.8 million, according to the Capital Improvement Program.
The second phase would widen Maugans Avenue to three lanes from Interstate 81 to Maugansville Road and would cost about $1.7 million, the program states. Construction on the second phase would begin in 2008 if approved.
Lowry and McGee said the widening is necessary to relieve traffic congestion on the road.
"It's a mess," McGee said. "It's probably one of the most congested areas that we have."
McGee said Maugans Avenue is used as the main road to and from I-81 because it's closer to more homes and businesses than the Showalter Road exit.
Lowry said that with residential growth expected for the North End of Hagerstown and near Hagerstown Regional Airport, traffic congestion on Maugans Avenue will get worse without the widening.
He said traffic is usually tied up in the morning and from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Lowry told the commissioners he thinks the homes that the county purchases should be torn down and the land resold once the project is completed.
If the houses are left standing, he said they would be just feet from the widened Maugans Avenue.
"It's going to bring the road so close to the house that it will not be feasible," he said.
Lowry said new homes could be built on the realigned land.
The commissioners requested a report on the benefits of renting the Hatfield home or demolishing it.
County Commissioner Bert Iseminger said the Maugans Avenue traffic situation is a result of approving homes without looking ahead.
"This is a real good example of where subdivisions were approved without thinking what the future was going to bring," he said.