Md. treasurer wants to extend Sykesville's Third Ave. Dixon supports plan for access to Route 32

September 03, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon supports efforts to extend Third Avenue to Route 32 in Sykesville and has asked state highway officials to give the project immediate attention.

"The town definitely needs direct access from Third Avenue to Route 32," said Dixon, a former Carroll County delegate. "This is a dangerous intersection, which must be addressed as soon as possible. The project has been much needed and too long in coming."

Efforts to improve access to Route 32 have been stymied because Sykesville, the county and Fairhaven Retirement Community, which is on Third Avenue, have been at odds over which access road to build.

Meanwhile, traffic has increased on the four highway intersections surrounding the town of 3,000. "Right now we are sending massive volumes of traffic down winding, under-built town streets," said Mayor Jonathan S. Herman.

The county wants a realignment of Obrecht Road around the north end of Fairhaven. With its main entrance on Third Avenue, Fairhaven has pushed for extending Third Avenue, a town road, and would pay $200,000 of the estimated $800,000 cost.

"It is our intent to help provide funding for extending Third Avenue," said Cindy Yingling, a Fairhaven spokeswoman. "It will help both our community and the town."

The state has made $400,000 available for improvements to one intersection with Route 32. Dixon informed the State Highway Administration of Fairhaven's offer in a letter dated Aug. 12.

The town wants both roads built as soon as possible.

"If Third Avenue is built first, we are going to see a need for Obrecht Road immediately," Herman said.

If Third Avenue is the choice, the county would not contribute to the construction, leaving the town to find $200,000 more.

"If Fairhaven and the state and Sykesville want Third Avenue, we give them our blessing, but we have no money for the project," said County Commissioner Richard T. Yates. "I am surprised that the people of the town want all that traffic through town."

Commissioner Donald I. Dell favors the Obrecht Road realignment but said he would not interfere with extending Third Avenue.

The Obrecht realignment will remain in the county's capital improvements budget, Yates said. It could be years before it becomes a reality and would require easements from Fairhaven.

"What would be Fairhaven's motivation to give us the easements, once Third Avenue is built and they have direct access?" asked county transportation planner Steve Horn.

Dixon, who has been involved in the matter since the beginning, said he cannot understand the delay in building a project that would benefit thousands of people.

"This is a resolvable, simple matter," he said. "But the state's offer will not be on the table forever. There are many other competing projects."

The state would add a traffic light at the new intersection, making it the second signal within a mile on Route 32, which eventually could be four lanes from Interstate 95 to Route 26.

Highway crews conducted a study this summer of traffic at Route 32 and Springfield Avenue, a crossing that has been the scene of numerous accidents.

Results of the study, expected to be available this week, could determine whether a temporary signal is needed at Springfield, said George Miller, a state traffic engineer. "This would be a temporary solution, and that is exactly how we would treat it," he said. "If there is a new intersection, we would not keep a signal at Springfield."

Pub Date: 9/03/96

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