Rain delays paving of Frederick Road

December 30, 1992|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff Writer

Motorists who use Centennial Lane at U.S. 40 will continue to suffer mud and traffic jams until weather permits construction crews to finish paving Frederick Road in western Ellicott City.

"If you live east [of Centennial Lane], and south of Frederick Road, it's at least four extra lights to get here," said Kathy Powers of the Font Hill neighborhood as she came in to pick up her daughter at La Petite Academy.

The day-care center is at the intersection where motorists going north on Centennial Lane would normally turn left onto Frederick Road if they were heading for westbound U.S. 40.

But Frederick Road is closed between Centennial and U.S. 40, even though it was supposed to be paved and open in November. The road was closed Oct. 28 and was supposed to be reopened in 11 days.

After waiting for the lights, Ms. Powers said, parents have to turn left onto U.S. 40 and then double back on the muddy, unpaved section of Frederick Road to get to the day-care center.

"It can take an extra 15 to 20 minutes to get the kids to school," she said.

The situation was "tolerable," she said, when parents were allowed to park in the old Safeway parking lot and use a temporary path across Frederick Road. The path was removed two weeks ago, she said, when heavy earth-moving equipment started working on that section of the road.

Ken Goodman of Burleigh Manor, who also had to pick up his daughter at La Petite yesterday, said he avoids the troublesome light at the northern end of Centennial by taking Culverene Road to Font Hill Drive to get to Frederick Road.

"You'll find most of the folks in the neighborhood will stay off of Centennial at any cost," he said.

County highway officials had hoped the Frederick Road segment would be open two or three weeks ago, said James Irvin, county director of public works.

But continued cold and rainy weather has made it impossible to pave the one-block stretch of road connecting Frederick Road to U.S. 40, he said.

"We need several days of dry weather to dry out the road, and if the temperature stays in the 40s, we can pave it in two days," Mr. Irvin said.

The good news is that when construction finally ends, the intersection will be improved.

Centennial Lane will be widened to five lanes at its intersection with Frederick Road and the road's three traffic lanes and the vertical alignment of Frederick Road will be improved.

In the meantime, motorists are advised to use Plumtree Drive, St. John's Lane or Chatham Road northbound to reach U.S. 40.

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