Public hearing on proposed Westminster bypass set for tonight

June 23, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Thirty-five Carroll countians have signed up to speak at a public hearing tonight on the proposed Westminster bypass, and State Highway Administration officials expect more potential speakers to register at the door.

Sue Rajan, SHA project planner, said the agency isn't sure how large a crowd to expect. But an estimated 450 people turned out for a public information meeting on possible Route 140 bypass routes last month.

Tonight's hearing will be at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road, Westminster. Maps will be on display at 6 p.m.

Westminster City Council President Kenneth A. Yowan has already heard from residents of the Furnace Hills subdivision, who are worried about a proposed southern bypass route that would go through sections of the Furnace Hills, Avondale Run, Eagleview and possibly Fenby Farm subdivisions and through part of the Wakefield Valley golf course.

Mr. Yowan told the residents to relax: "I think there's about as much chance as an asteroid hitting their houses."

The southern route is one of eight options under consideration to provide a better way of getting around Westminster than traffic-clogged Route 140.

The SHA will analyze comments from the public and from other review agencies to come up with a recommendation, Mrs. Rajan said. She said State Highway Administrator Hal Kassoff is expected to select a route this fall.

State studies show that more than 43,000 cars a day travel along the most crowded sections of Route 140. The SHA plans to design improvements that would handle traffic to 2015. By that year, the state agency projects that more than 68,000 cars will travel the road daily.

The alternates under consideration:

* Widen Route 140 to three lanes in each direction from Route 97 to Old Baltimore Road. Estimated cost, $8 million to $10 million.

* Extend 140 as a divided highway to west of Route 31. Widen to three lanes from Route 97 north to Sullivan Road, four lanes to Old Baltimore Road, three lanes to east of the state police barracks. Estimated cost, $40 million to $45 million.

* Three lanes on Route 140 in each direction from Route 97 north to Old Baltimore Road and an interchange at Route 97 south. Cross traffic would be banned on Route 140 except for left turns from the highway. Estimated cost, $60 million to $65 million.

* Same as above with a ramp at Route 31. Estimated cost, $70 million to $75 million.

* Northern bypass, starting west of Hughes Shop Road, with interchange at Route 97 just south of the county airport. East of Old Manchester Road, the bypass would turn south and would merge with existing Route 140 about a mile west of Reese Road. Estimated cost, $220 million to $230 million.

* Northern bypass, same as above to east of Route 27. Beyond Old Manchester Road, it is farther east than the alternate above. It would merge with existing Route 140 at the same spot. Estimated cost, $220 million to $230 million.

* Southern bypass. Starting 600 feet south of the Route 97-Route 32 intersection, with interchanges at Route 31, Kate Wagner Road, and Routes 32 and 97. Estimated cost, $230 million to $250 million.

* Do nothing other than routine maintenance on Route 140.

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