County residents say roads in need of repairs

July 02, 2004|by TARA REILLY

Terry Hovermale said he and his wife Sandy drive their school buses on the wrong side of parts of Keadle Road near Boonsboro for the safety of the children they're hauling.

The number and size of the potholes along the road force the Washington County Public Schools school bus contractors to travel in the oncoming lane about eight times a day, Terry Hovermale said.

Washington County road crews fill the holes, but they tear open again every few weeks, Terry Hovermale said. He said it was "because of the grace of God" that he and his wife haven't been in accidents on the road.


"To have to travel on the wrong side of the road is just inexcusable," Terry Hovermale said. "It's deplorable the conditions of these roads. They just have to be repaired."

Gilbert Benner, who lives on Keadle Road, also called to report the condition of that road. He said he's seen the school buses try to maneuver around the potholes.

"The school bus is on the left side, on the right side - you have to watch where you're going," Benner said.

Hovermale and Benner were two of 14 readers to contact The Herald-Mail in June with road "horror stories."

None of the roads about which the residents complained is on Washington County's priority repairs list, county Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

The list, distributed to the County Commissioners last month, contains about 25 priority projects. The roads on the list include Governor Lane Boulevard, Halfway Boulevard, Mount Aetna Road, Edgewood Drive, Western Maryland Parkway and Fountainhead Road.

While Rohrer agreed that some of the roads residents told The Herald-Mail about need to be repaired, he said the county doesn't have the money to fix them.

Several people called about Chestnut Grove Road in southern Washington County, saying that road is lined with potholes and floods when it rains.

Karen Oller, who lives on Foxville Road - Md. 77 - near Smithsburg, said improper drainage on the state road tears up her yard.

"The yard is always full of mud and debris," Oller said. "The road looks like a river. It's just unbelievable."

Randy and Elaine Turner of King Road near Boonsboro said in an e-mail to The Herald-Mail that a drainage problem causes water to back up at Md. 34 and King Road, potentially causing health hazards.

"The large amount of stagnant water has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes," they wrote. "It's become a great place for the purple martins nested above our front door in their mud nest and the West Nile Virus."

Readers contacted The Herald-Mail last month to tell us which roads they thought were among the worst in Washington County. Here are the roads they picked:

  • Mills Road

  • Chestnut Grove Road

  • Cedar Ridge Road

  • Pleasant Valley Road near Md. 77 and Md. 491

  • Md. 34 at King Road

  • Whitehall Road between Md. 64 and Mount Aetna Road

  • Keadle Road

  • Trego Road

  • Md. 77 (Foxville Road)
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