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Battlefield roads might be repaved

December 08, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Antietam National Battlefield's tour roads could be repaved for the first time in 30 years if the estimated $3.7 million project remains on track, Superintendent John Howard said Tuesday.

The preliminary cost estimate for the project includes engineering, drainage work, curbs, replacing wooden guardrails that don't meet federal safety standards and repaving 10 miles of roads and 14 parking areas, Howard said.

The work could start as early as spring 2007, Howard said.

An engineering study will be conducted to decide what drainage work is needed so the cost can better be determined, Howard said.

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Drivers in the area might have seen paint and fabric markers around local roads because aerial photographs are going to be taken to help with the engineering study, Howard said.

There are no plans to expand battlefield boundaries, Howard said.

At Monday night's Sharpsburg mayor and Town Council meeting, some town officials mentioned residents were concerned the markings might have something to do with plans to expand the park boundaries.

At least one council member, Russ Weaver, said he wasn't sure why the battlefield roads needed repaving because they appeared to be in good shape.

Howard said some of the roads are not in bad shape, but some are falling apart.

Parts of the road near Burnside Bridge are slipping off the hill, Howard said.

One of the battlefield's big problems is drainage, Howard said. A moderate rain can result in large puddles on the roads, which can crack asphalt after a freeze and thaw, he said.

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