Father spurs guardrail extension Concern for son led to action on Route 100

May 31, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Every time Joseph Anarino drove home along Route 100, he noticed that the metal guardrail seemed inadequate along the sharp curve west of the Jumpers Hole Road overpass.

For six years, he didn't say anything. But when his 16-year-old son got his driver's license in April, Anarino knew it was time to act.

"I could envision a car flipping right down there," he said. "Once my son got his license, I felt I had to do something."

Less than two months after he raised the issue with state officials, the guardrail was extended 100 feet, reducing the chances of a motorist driving off Route 100 into a deep embankment next to the overpass.

"It helps," he said of the road improvement. "I'm really happy that it got done."

Anarino credits state Del. John R. Leopold and officials from the State Highway Administration for the speedy work.

Anarino said he called Leopold April 1 and asked him to help.

Leopold wrote a letter to SHA officials that same day, asking them to extend the guardrail because of what he considered a potentially "dangerous situation."

"The need for this one is a matter of public safety," Leopold said. "People might fall into that incline and cause serious injury, if not a fatality."

Paul Armstrong, an SHA district engineer, said a report written by the agency's traffic engineers confirmed Anarino's and Leopold's suspicions.

"The possibility did exist that a car could run off the road and would not be able to recover," Armstrong said. "It was identified as a potential hazard, and we did what we could to correct it."

Armstrong said the project cost $3,000; SHA crews took one day to complete the job.

Anarino said he was surprised that Leopold and SHA officials acted so quickly.

"It's nice to know they would do something that quick when something was needed," Anarino said.

In a related matter, Leopold said officials from SHA and the state Department of Natural Resources are considering his request to reforest the land that serves as a median between eastbound and westbound Route 100.

Leopold said efforts to restore the lot since it was cleared for construction of Route 100 have been slow. He estimates that only 25 percent of the land has some sort of plant growth.

"The idea is to return it to its natural state," Leopold said. "When we destroy areas like this, we have a responsibility to restore it."

Leopold said he asked officials to plant wildflowers to beautify the land. He also requested the planting of young trees.

Pub Date: 5/31/96

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