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County prioritizing road repairs

April 19, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

HAGERSTOWN - When it comes to funding future roadway improvements in Washington County, the County Commissioners will soon draft a priority list of projects to lobby for state and federal money.

During their weekly meeting Tuesday, the commissioners considered 15 projects that surfaced from staff discussions with the City of Hagerstown.

Gary Rohrer, director of special projects for Washington County, said members of the county staff are in "ongoing" dialogue with City of Hagerstown staff on the topic of road improvements.

Discussions between the two governing bodies started in response to a request for a priority projects list from the Greater Hagerstown Committee and the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce.

"We have to find a way to fund our existing system," Rohrer said. "Adding new will not be of any benefit to us."

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At the top of the list recommended by Rohrer was the proposed $15 million reconstruction of the U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive intersection from the city line to Mount Aetna Road. Also included was a proposed bridge over U.S. 340 at the intersection of Keep Tryst Road and U.S. 340.

Most of the projects recommended for priority by Rohrer came with multimillion-dollar price tags.

While the commissioners agreed with the need for improvements at all 15 proposed locations, some of them disagreed with the rankings.

"I don't necessarily agree with your one through seven," Commissioner James F. Kercheval said.

Commissioner Kristin B. Aleshire said only some of the projects listed by Rohrer could actually qualify for state or federal funding.

"I just want to make sure the list we provide is the list this body determines are eligible for CPT (Consolidated Transportation Plan of Maryland) and are priorities for the state to consider as part of that process," he said.

The board has not drafted an official list and is waiting for more information from Rohrer before making a decision.

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