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What's Wrong with this Picture?

July 15, 2012
  • A reader wrote to say the end of a guardrail on the Funkstown bridge over Antietam Creek is missing bolts, which he attributed to vehicles hitting the guardrail.
Photo by Andrew Schotz

The problem: Robert McConnell of Hagerstown wrote in an email: “The guardrail on the bridge on Oak Ridge Drive in Funkstown has been hit several times since the bridge was repaired. The guardrail was repaired once, but the bolts holding the rail to the bridge have worked loose and now have disappeared. There is nothing holding that part of the rail to the bridge. Any bump could bend the rail into traffic and cause an accident.”

Who could fix it: Washington County

What they say: Asked to respond, Joseph Kroboth III, Washington County’s director of public works, wrote in an email on Wednesday: “You are correct with the fact that this section of traffic barrier is struck on a regular basis. In fact, I believe it has only been a couple weeks since the last event. I seem to recall hearing our maintenance crews talking about it on our radio system recently.

“Yes, we will send someone out to look at the bolted connection to the bridge itself and make any corrections that are needed.

“Considering ... how late we are in the week, most likely it will (not) be until next week before we can schedule a crew to make the repairs, as it is not an issue that is immediately dangerous to the motoring public. We will address the issue.”

Kroboth later added: “The problem is caused because people are waiting at the end of the bridge for their turn to cross. Then cars approaching from behind them are traveling (too) fast and they divert to the left to avoid rear-ending the waiting car and hit the traffic barrier.

“We are investigating the possibility of placing an electrically operated sign that would illuminate when a car is queued waiting for their turn and warn approaching cars on the vehicle at the bottom of the hill. This would help to give advance warning and eliminate many accidents.”

— 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 email the information to Please include a phone number where we can reach you.

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.

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