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Hagerstown briefs

June 16, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

City to phase out fire alert system



The Hagerstown City Council gave the go-ahead Tuesday to begin phasing out a fire-alert system that has been in use for at least 80 years.

Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker and Public Works Manager Eric Deike said during the council's work session that the call boxes placed around the city often are used for prank fire calls.

Hawbaker said the use of cell phones has made the system obsolete.

Hawbaker said the phaseout will begin immediately, but will be done in stages because several businesses use the city's system as their automatic fire alarm.




Council sees Eastern Boulevard designs



Hagerstown City Council members said they liked the most recent designs for upgrades to Eastern Boulevard which were presented during their Tuesday work session.

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Construction on the $2.5 million project is set to begin next year.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue told council members that while plans are to widen the road, officials also want to limit the amount of traffic turning on and off the busy street.

Project manager James Bender outlined plans for the road between Jefferson Boulevard and Conrad Court, which include a series of changes in traffic patterns at the intersections along the stretch of road.

At Opal Court, for instance, Bender said the plan is to put a traffic light in only one direction - the northbound lanes. Southbound lanes would not have a traffic light. Traffic turning left onto southbound lanes from Opal Court would merge into the other southbound lanes.

Traffic from two large businesses along Eastern Boulevard - Food Lion and Griffith Oil - would lose direct access to the street. Traffic to those businesses would be diverted a few hundred feet south to Diamond Drive and Professional Court.

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