CSX repairs would close Route 30 for five days NORTH -- Manchester * Hampstead * Lineboro

July 22, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

CSX Transportation wants to close Route 30 in Hampstead for five days to renovate the railroad crossing at the north end of town, Douglas Rose, district engineer with the State Highway Administration, said yesterday.

Hampstead's Town Council decided Monday to ask the SHA to approve repairs to the rail crossing, though the work will require Route 30 to be shut down from Aug. 23 through 27.

Hampstead Mayor Clint Becker invited representatives of CSX and the SHA to Monday night's Town Council meeting, to see whether a compromise could be worked out.

"We could not live with a full closure during the workday," Gene Straub, assistant district engineer for traffic with the State Highway Administration, told the council.

He said 20,000 vehicles a day use the road during the work week, and 10,000 vehicles a day use it on weekends.

Randy Daniels, assistant roadmaster with CSX, replied that the railroad could not afford to pay an extra $15,000 to have the work done over a weekend.

"CSX is in business to make a profit, and we don't intend to just throw money away," he said.

In May, the SHA told the railroad that it must complete the work during a weekend, between 7 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.

But, Mr. Rose said yesterday, "We definitely don't want to find ourselves in a fight with the town. . . . Reluctantly, we're looking at the issue [again]."

Previously, he said, the town had opposed the work-week closure of Route 30.

"If the town is for it now," he said, "it's awful hard for us to say no."

Mr. Daniels said Monday the railroad plans to spend $37,000 to $40,000 to install a rubberized crossing. The new crossing would be smoother for road traffic, he said, and is expected to last 10 years.

The railroad could opt for a different type of repair that could be done with a shorter road closing or with part of the road kept open, Mr. Daniels said. "[But] we would probably be there within a year tearing it out again and doing it again."

If the crossing is closed, heavy vehicles will be redirected onto routes 27 and 482. Other traffic could use Brodbeck Road and Route 482.

Mr. Rose said the State Highway Administration will make a decision on the request by early next week.

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