Weekend work on railroad crossing will create detours in Taneytown Most of impact expected on through, truck traffic

November 20, 1997|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

The railroad crossing on Taneytown's main thoroughfare, East Baltimore Street, will be closed for construction from 7 p.m. tomorrow to noon Monday.

The State Highway Administration and Maryland Midland Railway Co. timed the project to reduce its impact on weekday commuters and on tractor-trailer traffic that uses the street daily. Route 140, known as Baltimore Street in Taneytown, is the heavily traveled link between major routes to Frederick, Gettysburg, Pa., and Baltimore.

A detour route that will be in effect during the construction is designed primarily for heavy trucks that side streets in Taneytown cannot handle, said highway administration traffic engineer Donald Distance.

"We believe a lot of the local traffic is not going to take this [detour] route," Distance said. "We're concerned about commercial traffic."

He said East Baltimore Street will be closed only at the railroad crossing, and the highway administration expects that many local residents will find detours on parallel streets.

Detour directions

The detour for trucks and through traffic:

Eastbound Route 140 -- at the Taneytown square, take Route 194 south to Crouse Mill Road to Middleburg to Route 84 to Route 832 to Route 140.

Westbound Route 140 -- left on Mayberry Road before reaching Taneytown to Route 832 to Route 84 to Middleburg to Crouse Mill Road to Route 194 to return to Route 140 at the square.

Southbound Route 194 -- left on Crouse Mill Road to Middleburg to Route 84 to Route 832 to Route 140.

Northbound Route 194 -- traffic will be diverted at Keymar to Middleburg to Route 84 to Route 832 to Route 140.

The railroad crossing work is financed by $400,000 in federal and state grants for safety improvements, said Wayne Weszka, Maryland Midland general manager.

Weszka said flashing lights will be added to warn motorists of approaching trains.

Two of the three railroad tracks will be removed and concrete installed to buffer the remaining track.

The concrete pads are similar to those installed on the East Main Street railroad crossing in Westminster in August.

Smooth crossing

"When you go across [the crossing in] Westminster, you really don't even feel yourself crossing a railroad track," Weszka said.

The number of trains using the Taneytown track varies from one a week to as many as one a day during periods of heavy demand, Weszka said.

Maryland Midland uses the line to transport propane gas.

Pub Date: 11/20/97

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