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Contractors to replace eight brick crosswalks

May 03, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

As part of the Maryland Highway Administration's U.S. 40 Streetscape project, scheduled for completion in June or July, contractors are replacing eight crosswalks from an earlier phase of Streetscape, Maryland Highway Administration spokeswoman Lori Rakowski said Friday.

During the $1.7 million second phase of the state-funded project the contractor is scheduled to remove two crosswalks at Cannon Avenue and Washington Street, two at Cannon and Franklin Street and four at Potomac Street and Franklin, she said.

When the crosswalks in question were built around 1999 the bricks were set on a bed of sand on a concrete foundation, she said.

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"This is widely used and very successful," Rakowski said.

But while it has worked well elsewhere it did not work in Hagerstown, as the sand gradually leaked out, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.

Rakowski said the problem may have occurred due to the climate and topography.

The contractors are now replacing those crosswalks with ones in which the bricks are put in mortar on the same concrete foundations, she said.

The five new brick crosswalks built for the second phase use mortar, not sand, she said.

These will be at Franklin at Walnut, Washington at Walnut, Washington at Prospect, Washington at Jonathan, and the mid-block crosswalk on Washington by the Baldwin House complex.

Either way, the brick sidewalks are an improvement for downtown Hagerstown, Tissue said.

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