Advertisement

City to consider proceeding with Broadfording Road upgrade

Without another developer's participation, there would be a $469,621 funding gap

August 15, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com
  • One of the areas of disrepair on Broadfording Road between Salem Avenue and Hollyhock Road is shown above. The city agreed last year to take ownership of the road, between Hollyhock Road and Salem Avenue (Md. 58), from the state once it was repaired. Hagerstown City Council is scheduled to discuss Tuesday whether it wants to move forward with widening the 0.28-mile section of Broadfording Road near Best Buy.
Herald-Mail file photo

Hagerstown City Council is scheduled to discuss Tuesday whether it wants to move forward with widening a deteriorating 0.28-mile section of Broadfording Road near Best Buy.

The city agreed last year to take ownership of the road, between Hollyhock Road and Salem Avenue (Md. 58), from the state once it was repaired, Assistant City Engineer Jim Bender said.

But the process to repair the road hit a bump, Bender said.

In 2010, the city joined developers and Washington County in a "road club" that would use a mixture of developer and county funds to make the improvements a reality, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said previously. No city contribution was proposed.

Only one of the fronting property owners is still in the picture, leaving the city to consider whether it will pursue partial or complete widening of the road, Bender said.

The lowest of six bids received by the city this summer shows the project cost ranging from approximately $1.3 million to $1.7 million, according to city documents.

The base bid included utility improvements, widening the northern 800 feet of the roadway to four lanes and reconstructing the southern portion of the existing road to Hollyhock Road. The city also bid an alternative for widening the entire stretch of Broadfording Road to Hollyhock Road.

At least $616,934 has been committed to the project, according to city documents.

Washington County recognized in 2009 that the road was in poor condition and set aside $250,000 for its improvement, said Joseph Kroboth, the county's director of public works.

Likewise, I-81 Hollyhock LLC (UNIWEST), which built the adjacent Shoppes at Hagerstown anchored by Best Buy, committed $366,934.67 to the project, per the conditions of its development, according to city documents.

Bender said 2003 Salem Avenue LLC (AC&T) indicated to the city its plans to move forward with developing its property, proposing to cover the remaining $689,574 for the base bid, provided that the city commits to a partial reimbursement of AC&T's investment and that AC&T receives preliminary approval of its site plan for the property.

The goal of the 2010 agreement among the city, county and developers was to spur development along Broadfording Road and rehabilitate the road, Bender said.

Any repairs to the road will require it to be closed to traffic, he said.

City staff noted that widening the entire road would minimize traffic disruptions. However, without another developer's participation, there would be a $469,621 funding gap.

City staff has suggested that the city and county partner to close that gap by each fronting $235,000, which would be reimbursed by assessments on future developers, according to city documents.

Kroboth said he told the city engineering office that, conceptually, he agrees with widening the entire road.

"I agree that is a good investment, that traffic volume would justify widening the entire section and that it will help with safety," he said.

However, he said the decision to help close the funding gap falls to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

The Hagerstown City Council also has to authorize any city expenditure, Bender said.

City staff is scheduled to present the council with the bids, AC&T's proposal and the suggested stopgap today for its consideration.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|