Recent accidents prompt closing of Spout Hill Road

December 26, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Prompted by safety concerns, Sykesville officials closed Spout Hill Road to through traffic Thursday.

"We erected barricades and detour signs on Spout Hill between Kalorama Road and Springfield Avenue," said Mayor Kenneth W. Clark.

"We have had 6-foot-wide, 20-foot-long ice patches already, and with the weather predicted for this weekend, we decided to close."

County and town officials surveyed the road, which connects Third Avenue to Main Street, Thursday morning.

"In light of recent traffic accidents, we want to do all we can to make sure our roadways are safe," said the mayor.

Following the survey, town road crews dug a trench along the road in hopes of diverting the water that causes leaking and buckling on the surface.

"We will see if the trench keeps the water off the road, and then make a decision to reopen," said Mr. Clark.

The mayor lays the blame for the continuing road problems on the county. A county sewer pipe has caused problems with the road surface for several years, he said.

"The road was fine until the county put the sewer system in," said Mr. Clark. "The drainage tile was not laid correctly, and the nearest point of escape for the water is the side of the road."

The county and town have been haggling for nearly a year over who should repair the damage.

"The hillside has a lot of springs and ground water, which gets under the road," said Keith Kirschnick, county public works director. "The water pops out in different places. It is hard to say where it comes from and where it goes."

Mr. Clark said underground drains to sewer lines would correct the problems.

Mr. Kirschnick said he hopes the newly dug trench will allow motorists to use the road through the winter. He does not expect to make any repairs until spring.

"We have to dig down to the sub-grain, recompact the stone and repave in areas that have failed," he said. "We couldn't guarantee results unless we did that in good weather."

Town officials discussed Spout Hill Road with the county commissioners Dec. 2. Sykesville received the county's amended repair contract last week.

The town attorney will make recommendations to the contract, which Mr. Clark said should be returned to the commissioners this week.

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