What's wrong with this picture?

November 15, 2009

Editor's note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem, and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation.

We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The problem: On Bradbury Avenue, close to the entrance of the Smithsburg athletic fields, a drainage pipe has eroded and the narrow shoulder has crumbled, creating a steep drop.

Who could fix it: Maryland State Highway Administration

What they say: Debbie Bakner, who lives nearby, pointed out the problem in an e-mail to The Herald-Mail and sent a picture. She said she walks her dogs in that area, and sees students and bicyclists go by often. "It always concerns me," she said.

Bakner said the danger could get worse when it snows.

The Herald-Mail asked State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck about the problem on Wednesday. The next day, an SHA crew went to the scene. Buck called back Thursday to report that the SHA ordered about 10 feet of corrugated pipe, for a few hundred dollars, even though the pipe isn't currently being used for drainage. Workers will replace the pipe on Wednesday and restore the shoulder, he said.


"We appreciate the citizen bringing it to our attention," Buck said in a voice-mail message.

-- Compiled by Andrew Schotz

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What's Wrong With This Picture
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740

You can e-mail the information to

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