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Road repair list grows

August 05, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County this week extended its list of roads to be repaired in fiscal year 2006, part of a five-year, $25 million road improvement plan, County Commissioner John C. Munson said this week.

But while roads in the worst shape might appear to be likely candidates for repairs, county staff told the commissioners at a meeting Tuesday that such roads probably wouldn't be targeted for improvements. Doing so wouldn't be cost-effective, they said.

The commissioners voted on Tuesday to add 13 road projects totaling $650,480 to the county's Pavement Maintenance Program for fiscal year 2006. The fiscal year began on July 1.

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The money is in addition to the $3.32 million the commissioners already authorized to spend on roads.

The projects added to the repair list include Rench Road, Underpass Way near Valley Mall, Railway Lane from Massey Boulevard to Underpass Way, Robinwood Drive from Edgewood Drive to Hagerstown Community College, Robinwood Drive from Hagerstown Community College to Md. 64, Yale Drive from Mount Aetna Road to Medical Campus Drive, and Air Park Drive near Henson Boulevard.

"These are the roads that we feel are the most cost-effective at this time," County Chief Engineer Terry McGee said.

Before Tuesday, the maintenance program consisted of 28 road projects, according to a written statement issued by the county last month.

McGee and Public Works Director Gary Rohrer told the commissioners it makes more sense to target roads that need moderate repairs to prevent them from getting any worse and more costly to fix.

"The idea is to keep the roads from getting too bad," McGee said.

McGee was responding to a question from Munson, who asked why the worst roads weren't being repaired. He said some residents in rural parts of the county have told him their roads are crumbling.

"Terry, you're making sense, but tell me how to answer folks out in the boondocks ..." Munson said.

McGee said the county wouldn't be able to afford many road projects at this time if it repaired the roads in the worst shape.

"If we let these roads go, we ought to all be shot at sunrise," Rohrer said of the roads chosen for repairs.

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