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Hagerstown likely to accept stretch of Broadfording Road

Before any additional development can occur along the road, it needs extensive improvement

September 24, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER
  • The Maryland State Highway Administration has asked Hagerstown to accept a 0.28-mile stretch of Broadfording Road between Salem Avenue (Md. 58) and Hollyhock Road, according to City Engineer Rodney Tissue. The Hagerstown City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to accept the road.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

The City of Hagerstown likely will accept from the State of Maryland a deteriorated section of road to pave the way for more commerical development in the city.

The Maryland State Highway Administration has asked Hagerstown to accept a 0.28-mile stretch of Broadfording Road between Salem Avenue (Md. 58) and Hollyhock Road, according to City Engineer Rodney Tissue.

The road borders land just north of Best Buy, where another shopping center has been proposed.

The Hagerstown City Council will vote Tuesday on whether to accept the road.

Transferring ownership to the city will create consistency and should allow for additional development in the area without any immediate cost to the city, Tissue said.

A mix of county and private money is available to repair the road, according to a memorandum of understanding the city approved in March, he said.

Maryland has owned the small section of Broadfording Road since it was built in the 1960s, but Washington County has been responsible for its maintenance, Tissue said.

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Washington County recognized a year ago that the road was in poor condition and set aside $250,000 for improvements, County Director of Public Works Joseph Kroboth said.

"Delaying improvements too long will likely result in devastating effects on the pavement," he said.

The road has "alligator cracked" Tissue said, meaning the surface is breaking down and cracking in a way that resembles scales.

Before any additional development can occur along the road, it needs extensive improvement, more than any one developer could finance, Tissue said in a city memo.

The road also needs to be widened from two lanes to four lanes, he said.

Tissue said 2003 Salem Avenue LLC (AC&T), Venetian Investments LLC and I-81 Hollyhock LLC (UNIWEST), which built the adjacent Shoppes at Hagerstown anchored by Best Buy, have invested in the land.

The city joined developers and the county in a "road club" to make the road improvements a reality, he said.

Washington County has committed $250,000 to repair the road, Tissue said.

Uniwest has committed $366,934.67, according to city documents.

Developers will fund the widening, Tissue said.

The land bordering Broadfording Road to the east, where developers hope to build, is within city limits.

City Planning Director Kathy Maher said Hagerstown annexed the land effective in 2008, but the road remained in the state's possession.

Developers previously presented a concept for the land along Broadfording Road, including a hotel, restaurants, a gas station and other businesses.

Maher said she expects one of the developers could submit a development plan in the near future. Tissue said no development is imminent.

Brad Fulton of AC&T said in 2009 that he was waiting for the city and county to resolve the issue of Broadfording Road before moving forward with development plans.

Tissue said the city likely will reconstruct the road in 2011, unless a developer steps forward. The city will not widen the road, he said.

If you go



What: Hagerstown City Council vote on accepting a portion of state road that Washington County will pay to repair

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown City Hall

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