City, county divided on Edgewood

October 03, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

HAGERSTOWN - A project to expand the intersection of U.S. 40 and Edgewood Drive gathered steam again Tuesday after nearly four months of negotiations between local and state governments.

The Washington County Commissioners and the Hagerstown City Council discussed the project during separate meetings.

If approved, the project's $12.2 million cost would be divided among the city, county and state.

The commissioners approved the agreement with little discussion Tuesday.

"We have to get this going," Commissioner James F. Kercheval said.

The City Council, however, was less enthusiastic.

Councilmen Lewis C. Metzner and Martin Brubaker said they would require more information about the project before giving it their endorsement.

Councilwoman Penny M. Nigh said she wouldn't support the project because the existing blueprint only offers a Band-Aid fix.

"If your going to do it, do it right," she said after the council's work session.

Washington County Director of Special Projects Gary W. Rohrer said the project stalled in June when the Maryland State Highway Administration raised its overhead costs for the project.


The SHA lowered some of the project's overhead costs in July after a meeting with city and county officials.

The SHA also removed a clause from the agreement that would have allowed the state to hold local shares of the Highway User Revenues in the event of payment disputes.

Rohrer said he expects the city and county will advertise for bids for the project in mid-December, though he said the SHA has some right-of-way issues to resolve that might delay the bidding process.

The project is scheduled to begin in March 2008 and finish in fall 2009.

The project will add a through lane and extend the turn lanes in each direction on U.S. 40. It would also widen Edgewood Drive to allow for two southbound left-turn lanes, a northbound right-turn lane and center medians on Edgewood Drive on both sides of U.S. 40.

Staff writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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