Sykesville seeks a new route for Obrecht Road-Route 32 link

April 07, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Department of Public Works is taking a wait-and-see-what-the-state-says attitude before deciding where to link Obrecht Road to Route 32 in Sykesville.

The State Highway Administration (SHA) is reviewing the project.

"Our feelings would be predicated on whatever the state comes up with on this project," said Keith R. Kirschnick, the public works director, at a meeting with the county commissioners yesterday.

The Obrecht Road realignment has been a capital project in the Freedom Master Plan since 1978, said Edmund "Ned" Cueman, county planning director.

"The state approved a connecting point at Springfield Avenue years ago," Mr. Cueman said.

Sykesville's Planning Commission has proposed a different point. Members said extending the road past Fairhaven Retirement Home to Route 32 would be more feasible, and they voted unanimously Monday night to support that change. Robert Bond, town engineer, is working on a feasibility study.

To adopt the town's alternative, state officials would have to alter their 15-year-old plan to realign Obrecht so it would intersect Route 32 at Springfield Avenue. That configuration would circle Fairhaven property and cost an estimated $1.2 million.

"I am surprised at this late date that the town is pushing for this," said Mr. Cueman. "Fairhaven administrators and Sykesville are together on this new idea, though."

Sykesville's proposal would create a shorter, more direct and less costly road that would not cut across woodlands and wildlife refuges, said Town Manager James Schumacher.

"Just because a plan has been on the books for 10 years or more doesn't mean it can't change," said Mr. Schumacher. "The old plan no longer serves the town's needs."

The new route, which would go through Sykesville, could cost the town more money, said Mr. Cueman.

Mayor Lloyd Helt Jr. said the town wants to work with the county on the project, but can't afford to fund it.

"We suggested this realignment, but it would primarily be used by county residents to access Route 32," the mayor said.

Sight distance, which is "bad on Route 32," could play a large role in the state's decision, said Mr. Cueman.

"If the SHA can live with this, we can," he said. "We have no animosity for this 11th hour change."

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