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Stretch of Summit Avenue to close to make way for new press

August 15, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A stretch of Summit Avenue will be closed Tuesday so The Herald-Mail can install a new 50-ton color printing press.

The press is so large, it must be delivered and unloaded in stages, using a 150-ton crane parked in the street, Herald-Mail Operations Director Mark Kelly said.

The job will start at about 6 a.m. and is expected to be over at about 6 p.m., Kelly said.

A City of Hagerstown traffic advisory gives a wider time frame. It says Summit Avenue will be closed between Baltimore and Antietam streets probably from 5 a.m. to at least 7 p.m.

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Northbound traffic on Summit Avenue will be directed east toward South Locust Street. It can head back to Summit Avenue at East Antietam Street.

Antietam Fire Co., which is across Summit Avenue from The Herald-Mail, will move a firetruck to another station for the day.

Motorists may use Hood Street to get from Baltimore Street to the Washington County government building and The Herald-Mail office, but the road will be blocked after that.

The Herald-Mail has hired CHS Traffic Control Services of Frederick, Md., to put up traffic-control signs and devices when the work starts, then remove them when the work is done.

The 16 1/2-foot-wide press will be installed, in pieces, through a window because it can't fit through a door, according to Bill Gordon of Inland Newspaper Machinery Corp. of Lenexa, Kan., which sold the press to The Herald-Mail.

Traffic was congested in the same area of Summit Avenue on Aug. 1 when a crane unloaded a steel platform that will be used as a staging area for sections of the new press.

Also on Aug. 1, the westbound lane of West Antietam Street was closed as the former Colonial Hotel building at 55-59 S. Potomac St. was painted. Renovations were under way at the nearby Dagmar Hotel, too.

Kelly said The Herald-Mail is spending $2.5 million on the press, the most significant upgrade to the newspaper's printing process in about 30 years. It will be added to the newspaper's current press.

The new press - an Americolor tower manufactured by Dauphin Graphic Machines in Millersburg, Pa. - will let the paper print 16 more pages of color in an edition.

Using a 48-page edition as an example, Kelly said that, currently, The Herald-Mail can print 16 full-color pages, including photographs; 16 pages of spot color, in which one color is added, usually in an advertisement; and 16 pages in black and white.

The new press will let the newspaper print 32 full-color pages and 16 spot-color pages.

"It's important to advertisers and readers," Kelly said. "Both of them want more color."

The Herald-Mail will be the second newspaper company to install the relatively new Americolor tower, Gordon said. The first was Charleston Newspapers in West Virginia, which publishes The Charleston Gazette, the Charleston Daily Mail and the combined Sunday Gazette-Mail.

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