What's wrong with this picture?

September 02, 2012
  • Water pools at the end of Lauran Road in Hagerstown, where it meets Northern Avenue.
Photo submitted by Wilson Shearer

The problem: Wilson Shearer sent The Herald-Mail a photo of standing water at the end of Lauran Road in Hagerstown, where it intersects with Northern Avenue.
Shearer, who lives nearby, wrote: “Because of a drainage problem, there is a large puddle created by rain which only goes away very slowly through evaporation. Meanwhile, pedestrians and vehicles find the puddle a nuisance and an eyesore.”
During a phone conversation, Shearer said it sometimes takes a day or more for a puddle to disappear. In the winter, standing water freezes, he said.

Who can fix it: the City of Hagerstown and Washington County

What they say: After seeing Shearer’s photo, Eric Deike, Hagerstown’s director of public works, wrote in an email on Thursday:
“(Lauran) Road and Northern Ave. intersect at the City of Hagerstown’s northern boundary. (Lauran) Road is mostly outside the city limits of responsibility. However, the city’s right of way extends 10 feet onto (Lauran) Road, making this a joint city/county issue.
“Staff from both entities examined the issue this morning but could not determine a permanent solution at this time. A permanent solution will need to be engineered — grade change, storm drain, etc. There (is) no current budgeted project to alleviate this problem. The elevation of (Lauran) Road where it intersects Northern Ave. creates the ponding effect seen in the photo.
“For now, county staff will open up the ditch line along (Lauran) Road in an attempt to drain the water from the road.”


— 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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