Westminster, railroad may improve crossing Rubber mats promise smoother Main St.

December 27, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The pieces of lumber that test a car's shock absorbers as it crosses the railroad tracks at Main Street and Railroad Avenue in Westminster may be replaced by rubber mats that promise a smoother crossing.

The City Council's Finance Committee is mulling budget options to replace the lumber with rubber matting for 170 feet, from the Liberty Street side of the Main Street intersection to the edge of Winters Alley.

A final decision rests with the full council, which may get the

committee's recommendation in January.

"Something's got to be done" about the intersection, said Council President William F. Haifley, who serves on the Finance Committee with Councilman Stephen R. Chapin Sr. Mr. Haifley said he is waiting to hear details of the proposal before he gives it a thumbs up or down.

The project cost is now estimated at about $35,000, less than one-tenth the estimated price when city officials started discussions with executives of Maryland Midland some time ago.

Faced with complaints from motorists about the crossing, and with an estimate of $375,000 to have a private contractor do the work, City Planning and Public Works Director Thomas B. Beyard said he worked out a cheaper alternative. The plan calls for the city government to pay materials costs and Maryland Midland to supply the labor to replace the lumber.

Mr. Beyard said the rubber matting provides a smoother crossing on railroad tracks on Route 75 in Union Bridge.

"You don't even feel like you're going across railroad tracks," he said.

The Finance Committee will consider two recommended options for budgeting the project. The city could use surplus money built into its 1991-1992 budget to get the work done in the spring of 1993, or could place it in the capital budget request for 1993-1994, Mr. Beyard said.

Placing the project in the capital budget program for 1993-1994 would mean the project could begin after the start of the fiscal year July 1, if the council allocates the money.

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