Transportation officials to meet with commissioners Carroll road projects on the agenda

November 14, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Maryland Secretary of Transportation O. James Lighthizer will meet with the Carroll County commissioners and their staff members tomorrow to discuss bypasses, road improvements and the troublesome Royer Road-Route 140 intersection in Westminster.

The annual meeting, which is open to the public, will be at 1:30 p.m. in Room 300A of the County Office Building.

Mr. Lighthizer travels the state to listen to counties' concerns and priorities before he prepares the annual transportation report for the governor. The report will cover projects in the years 1994 ++ to 1999.

The General Assembly requires the secretary to meet with county officials. The meetings began in early October; the Carroll meeting is the last on his agenda.

"These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to exchange information with the elected officials and to fine-tune our program," Mr. Lighthizer said in a press release.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer promised Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy that officials would talk about the proposed "jug-handle" plan for the intersection of Route 140 and Royer and Meadow Branch roads at tomorrow's meeting.

Residents oppose the state's plan to build a jug-handle turn instead of erecting a traffic light at the busy intersection. Mr. Lippy asked the governor in September to talk with transportation officials about reconsidering the plan.

Mr. Lighthizer and State Highway Administrator Hal Kassoff are expected to address the issue.

Officials also are expected to discuss moving the state's emissions testing station from Bethel Road in Reese to the Air Business Park on Route 97, north of Westminster.

County officials learned of the plan two weeks ago and complained that state officials had not told them earlier.

Another topic will be landscaping for the median on Route 140 in Westminster from Route 97 to Route 31. Carroll officials say they want the State Highway Administration to pay for the landscaping and maintenance.

The plantings would cost $100,000 to $125,000, and yearly maintenance would cost about $10,000 if it is performed by a private company, county officials said. Maintenance could cost $24,000 if done by county employees, they said.

Charlie Adams, director of the administration's Office of Environmental Design, said last week that money is not budgeted for the project.

Bypasses around Hampstead, Manchester and Westminster are an annual topic at the meetings. For years, Carroll officials have been pushing for bypasses that would alleviate truck traffic through down town areas. No money is budgeted in the next six years for any of the Carroll bypasses.

The agenda also includes these road improvement projects:

* Interstate 70 from 0.2 miles west of the Carroll-Howard county ++ line in Carroll to a point one mile east of Marriottsville Road in Howard County.

* Route 26 from Franklinville Road east to Route 97 and from Martz Road east to Route 32.

* Maryland Midland Railroad bridge on Route 27.

* Route 32 from Route 26 north to Nottingham Road, including the Liberty Reservoir bridge.

* Route 32 in Westminster.

* Double Pipe Creek bridge on Route 77 in Detour.

Before the meeting, Transportation Deputy Secretary Stephen G. Zentz will give the commissioners a $134,000 check, part of a package of federal and state grants for renovations at the Carroll County Regional Airport.

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