Route 140 study is proposed

May 04, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll County's planning director proposed yesterday asking the state for money to study controlling access to Route 140.

Edmund R. "Ned" Cueman, the planning director, said during an informal meeting with county commissioners that reducing curb cuts and improving intersections along Route 140 might be an alternative to extending Interstate 795 toward Westminster and northwestern Carroll.

Any extension of I-795 could be costly and problematic because it would have to cross the watershed area for Liberty Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to the Baltimore metropolitan area, he said.

Controlling access to Route 140 from Reese east to I-795 could be the better choice, but the idea needs study, Mr. Cueman said.

"It's still in the realm of extending decent roads to Carroll County," Mr. Cueman said during an interview. "It's not cutting across country to do it."

In 1992, the state counted an average of 37,000 vehicles that travel Route 140 daily between the Carroll-Baltimore County line and the beginning of I-795.

Mr. Cueman said the traffic could move more smoothly if some curb cuts -- at the entrances to businesses -- are eliminated. Hence, entrances to businesses would be consolidated, he said.

The planner spoke generally about the proposal, but said intersections on Route 140, especially at Route 91, could be improved.

"I think they [the state] will put the money up to do the study," Mr. Cueman told Commissioners Julia W. Gouge and Elmer C. Lippy.

The commissioners were to meet with Mr. Cueman yesterday but ran out of time. Mr. Cueman had only a brief chance to give Commissioners Gouge and Lippy an explanation of his suggestion, which the officials said would be discussed in more detail at a future meeting.

Mr. Cueman said he suggested the study focus on Route 140 from I-795 to Reese, where a Westminster bypass could start.

Bypass options introduced to the Westminster City Council at a meeting last month included two northern bypass routes and one southern route. The State Highway Administration, which must decide which route to use if a bypass is built, included ways to add lanes and improve traffic flow on the existing road. Those possibilities would be far less expensive than a bypass.

SHA representatives are scheduled to detail the choices at an informational meeting for the public from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 26 in the Westminster High School cafeteria. The agency plans a public hearing at 7 p.m June 23 in the high school's auditorium.

State officials told the Westminster council that, even without financing delays, the project would require about three years for engineering and rights of way acquisition, and three or four years for construction.

The project has state money for preliminary planning.

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