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Holiday weekend slows I-70 traffic

May 27, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

Looking out the window of the Maryland State Police's Hagerstown barrack Friday at 3 p.m., Trooper 1st Class R.R. Coccodrilli could see that traffic on Interstate 70 already was showing the strain of the holiday weekend.

"Westbound traffic is stopped already," Coccodrilli said.

By 7 p.m., traffic was moving again, but slowly, troopers said.

A dispatcher for Frederick County Fire and Rescue Communications said westbound traffic there also was slowing by midafternoon.

And "awful" was the word used to describe the overall afternoon traffic situation on I-70 and Interstate 270 in Frederick County by a deputy at the sheriff's department there.

A misty rainfall didn't help matters either, with state police in Hagerstown handling nearly a dozen accidents by Friday afternoon. Most were fender benders, police said.

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A 98-minute sobriety checkpoint that began Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Md. 63 and Business Parkway netted only one driver out of 1,000 passing through the checkpoint who had to be pulled over for additional sobriety testing, Maryland State Police said.

Ten troopers funded by a multistate Operation Strikeforce grant conducted the checkpoint, according to Capt. Robert Turano.

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