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Final link of Hagerstown bike loop project to be completed by mid August

July 04, 2013|By HOLLY SHOK | holly.shok@herald-mail.com

Construction on the final phases of the city’s downtown bike loop project is expected to be complete by mid-August, a city official said Wednesday.

In mid-June, crews began constructing a 10-foot wide concrete path that starts at the south end of Prospect Street, Engineering Designer II Tim Young said in an email Wednesday.

The path continues along the east side of Walnut Street to Park Circle, around a portion of Park Circle, across Virginia Avenue and extends along the north side of Memorial Boulevard to Summit Avenue.

The multiuse path, intended for both pedestrians and bicycles, will connect the south end of Prospect Street to Summit Avenue.

 Additionally, a bike lane recently was painted on the west side of Summit Avenue from Lee Street to Church Street. Pavement markings and signage soon will be added, Young said.

This will connect Summit Avenue with the existing bike lane on Jonathan Street at Church Street.

“Once this bike lane is completed we expect the narrower vehicular travel lane to help slow traffic and the bike lane will also provide a buffer between parked cars and moving traffic in several blocks,” Young wrote in a June 20 letter to businesses and residents on Summit Avenue and Jonathan Street.

Additionally, the block of Summit Avenue between Memorial Boulevard and Lee Street will feature a “shared lane” used by both cars and bicycles, Young said.

Signage soon will be placed to indicate the shared-lane designation, Young said.

In March, the Hagerstown City Council awarded a contract to Hagerstown company Henson & Son Inc. in the amount of $79,786.50 for the construction of a 10-foot-wide multiuse path. However, the city issued a $20,135.72 change order to include construction of a traffic island on Virginia Avenue, which was an alternate on the original bid, “and also to remove an unexpected concrete slab under the street and backfilling that area with suitable material,” Young said.

The state agreed to increase the Maryland Bikeways Program grant amount from $60,000 to $75,000, to assist in making up the amount, Young said.

The cost of signs and pavement markings for the last leg of the project is $9,908.40, Young said.

The total budget for the project, which originally was $90,700, is now $109,830.62.

The funding breakdown includes the $75,000 state grant, $5,000 for pavement preservation allocated by the state through the city and a $3,000 tree-planting grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The remaining lion’s share will come from the city’s excise tax allocated to park enhancements, and the rest from the city’s general fund.

The downtown loop was initiated by the Bicycle Master Plan and adopted in 2010.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue has said the project will constitute about eight miles when completed. The last mile is the only section requiring construction, he has said.

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