East Main St. Concept Plan Goes To Council

Task Force Finishes Review After More Than 10 Months

November 24, 1991|By Daniel P. Clemens Jr. | Daniel P. Clemens Jr.,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — The revised concept plan for the East Main Street reconstruction project is on its way to the City Council.

The task force charged with overseeing revision of the plans completed more than 10 months of work during a final meeting Thursday at the volunteer fire company on East Main Street.

"We want to get to the point where we can say, 'This is what we'dlike to see on East Main Street,' " said Charles Adams, chief of theState Highway Administration's landscape architecture division.

But that doesn't mean every detail of the plan is cast in stone, said members of the task force, composed of state and city administrators as well as downtown business people and residents.

The concept plan is just that -- a concept.

In fact, it will be almost a year before final engineering designs are complete, Adams said. Additional minor revisions can be made in the meantime.

The project will include sidewalk and road improvements and installation of new storm water drainage pipes, from Longwell Avenue to Quintal Road.

The state owns the road, but will turn it over to the city upon completion of thereconstruction.

The project will be paid for with a mix of state and federal money. At best, federal highway funding will pay 70 percent of the cost, Adams said.

Originally, the project was expected to cost about $2.8 million, but the task force has not updated estimates to correspond with the revisions.

Task force members refused tospeculate on the availability of state and federal money, upon whichthe progress of the project hinges.

The concept plan now will go to the council, which will review the design at its Dec. 16 meeting. Usually, the council meets twice a month. But the December meeting will be its only one, to avoid a session two days before Christmas.

"The sooner, the better," said Council President William F. Haifley, who attended Thursday.

During an open house Oct. 24, the task force invited citizens to take a look at the concept plan, ask questions and make suggestions. On Thursday, the task force furnished answers to some of the questions submitted at the open house.

For example:

* When will construction start? How long will it take? In what waywill daily life on the street be disrupted?

If the project proceeds unimpeded, road work could begin in February or March 1993 and would take about two years to complete, said city Planning Director Thomas B. Beyard, a task force member. The sequence of how the work will proceed is uncertain, but ideas discussed Thursday were alternately closing one side of the street or closing portions of the whole streetone block at a time. No decision has been made.

* Who will selectthe trees and street furniture, such as benches, that will accent the redesigned street, and who chooses where such elements will be placed?

City administrators, with advice from Main Street residents and merchants, will pick the furniture and trees and their locations.

* Can residents review the final concept plan?

Task force members said they will try to display plans at the Carroll County Library on Main Street.

* Is the widening of Washington Road still part of the project?

Yes, task force members said.

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