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City seeks land to relieve Eastern Blvd. congestion

Acres behind Stone House Square would be used to build road

Acres behind Stone House Square would be used to build road

June 16, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- Officials from Washington County and the City of Hagerstown are in the process of acquiring private property that would be used to build one road and relocate another in an effort to alleviate traffic congestion on Eastern Boulevard.

On Tuesday, City Engineer Rodney Tissue recommended to the City Council that it vote next week to enter into an agreement with Washington County and the owners of Holcim Inc. to acquire an undisclosed number of acres of land behind the Stone House Square shopping center on Hagerstown's North End.

Holcim Inc. recently bought the former St. Lawrence Cement Co. off Old Forge Road.

Tissue said the land is needed to build a road that would run behind Stone House Square from the YMCA on Eastern Boulevard to Md. 60 at Marsh Pike.

Even though the land is in the county, Tissue said, the city should try to work in good faith with county officials on the design, construction and maintenance of the new road because that area might eventually be annexed into the city.

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He said the road, which would stretch about 6,400 feet, would alleviate an increasing amount of traffic congestion at the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and Northern Avenue.

City documents show that the road also would provide a second access to the Cortland Manor residential development.

In addition to the new road, the project would include relocating Old Forge Road a few thousand feet to the north and the construction of a park just east of Cortland Manor that would include six softball fields, four soccer fields and two tennis courts, according to city documents.

Tissue did not discuss the cost of the project, but preliminary city budget figures indicate it would cost about $5.4 million.

The cost would be shared among the city, the county and a developer, according to the budget documents.

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