Ruppersberger seeks support for road projects Transportation priorities reviewed by Md. officials

November 11, 1997|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,SUN STAFF

Meeting with state transportation officials yesterday, Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger sought support for several road projects, including the continued widening of the Beltway, extending White Marsh Boulevard and reconfiguring Paper Mill Road in Hunt Valley.

Dozens of other county transportation projects -- totaling almost $210 million over the next five years -- also were discussed as part of a proposal that the Maryland Department of Transportation will present to the 1998 General Assembly for funding.

"We're in the proces of updating our plan. We try to come out and review all the projects," said state transportation Secretary David L. Winstead, who has held 23 such meetings around Maryland.

Other Ruppersberger priorities call for more Beltway sound barriers, Beltway bridge replacements for Providence and Dulaney Valley roads in Towson, an interchange at Interstate 795 and Dolfield Boulevard in Owings Mills, and double tracks for the light rail line.

"The bottom line is that people will not use the light rail if it is not convenient," Ruppersberger said.

The meeting in Towson also drew residents and other elected officials.

Greg Leverton, president of the Double Rock Community Association, was concerned that county officials were ignoring his community, between White Marsh Boulevard and Belair Road.

"We feel we have to be a squeaky wheel so we can get sound barriers" along the Beltway, Leverton said. "Our property backs up closer than most in the Greenspring area. For the past 10 years, we've been told it's coming, it's coming. But it's always west of us."

Republican Del. Martha S. Klima said residents are opposed to the proposed widening of Paper Mill Road. "The community does not want to see that level of traffic."

But Ruppersberger, in his remarks to the panel of transportation officials, said, "This project eliminates a significant safety and capacity problem which is going to become even more severe with the arrival of MBNA [Corp.] and the redevelopment of Hunt Valley Mall."

MBNA, a Delaware-based credit card giant, plans to create more than 3,000 jobs at a regional headquarters in Hunt Valley.

Ruppersberger also noted economic development as the reason for extending White Marsh Boulevard, or Route 43, to Eastern Avenue. In recent months, a $100 million motor speedway has been proposed for the area.

"Our Eastern Baltimore County Revitalization Strategy Study highlights the severe need for this new roadway, which will open approximately 1,100 acres of prime land for development," Ruppersberger said.

Pub Date: 11/11/97

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