Construction to close part of Westminster's Pennsylvania Ave.

April 10, 1995|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

The State Highway Administration (SHA) will close Pennsylvania Avenue between Union Street and Sullivan Avenue April 24 to rip up and rebuild the Westminster street.

The construction is the second section of a project to install storm drains and a water main, and rebuild Pennsylvania Avenue from The Forks to the edge of the city. The first section was completed in 1990.

"We feel we can have it completed in one construction season" by closing the street, said Eric Eckhardt, SHA's area reconstruction engineer. "If we went on a block basis, like we did on East Main Street, it would be two construction seasons."

The SHA also plans to resurface Pennsylvania Avenue from Sullivan Avenue to the eastbound interchange at Route 140, but will not close that section of the road.

The reconstruction is scheduled for completion Nov. 17.

Mr. Eckhardt said golfers will be able to reach the Western Maryland College golf course during the road construction. Pennsylvania Avenue will be open from the north to the intersection of Sullivan Avenue, where the clubhouse is located.

When crews install curbs and gutters at the intersection, they will leave half of the golf course entrance open while they work on the other half, he said.

The SHA also promised to open the intersection at Monroe Avenue temporarily for high school graduation ceremonies. All five Carroll County public high schools have their graduation ceremonies on the college campus.

Detour signs will guide southbound drivers to Route 140, right on Center Street and right on East Main Street to reach Pennsylvania Avenue.

Drivers will use alleys parallel to Pennsylvania Avenue to reach businesses and residences on the closed section of the avenue from the rear.

Mr. Eckhardt said the SHA chose to reroute traffic to Center Street after ruling out alternative routes on Englar Road and Route 27.

Westminster city government has a construction project scheduled that would affect Englar Road traffic, he said, and the agency didn't want to use Route 27 because the detour would create additional traffic congestion at the Route 140 exit ramp.

The city plans to install a sewer main on Bond and John streets to the pumping station on Cranberry Road, said Thomas B. Beyard, Westminster's public works director.

A detour route could lead from Englar Road to Carroll Street, but the Carroll Street intersection with Main Street "is a very difficult intersection to get out of. I wouldn't recommend putting a lot of traffic on Carroll Street," Mr. Beyard said.

He said the city will try to get the sewer main installation on Bond and John streets completed first, to allow the SHA to change the detour route to Englar Road and John Street while the city continues extending the main to the pumping station.

Mr. Beyard said the city has received relatively little feedback from people who will be affected. He is scheduled to meet this month with Neighbors United, a Pennsylvania Avenue-Union Street-West Main Street neighborhood association, to discuss the project.

Corman Construction Co. of Annapolis Junction will do the work on a $1.12 million contract. The project covers half a mile.

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