Route for Loch Raven Dam renovation worries residents

January 16, 2002|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Worries over truck traffic rumbling through neighborhoods dominated a meeting last night between Baltimore County residents and city public works officials planning a three-year, $35 million renovation of Loch Raven Dam.

To the chagrin of about 150 people in attendance at Loch Raven High, Baltimore Public Works Director George L. Winfield unveiled the traffic pattern for construction trucks that will take the Beltway to reach the project.

Loaded trucks will travel north on Dulaney Valley Road to Loch Raven Drive. Empty trucks will then return using Providence Road, Winfield said.

"We're here tonight to tell you that we'll work with you," Winfield said.

Winfield noted that for 23 years, the city has known about structural damage to the dam. Baltimore owns the 89-year-old Loch Raven Dam, the larger of the two on the Gunpowder Falls, and is responsible for its upkeep. The dams form Loch Raven Reservoir, which the city uses to provide water to 1.8 million area residents.

Many who attended the meeting live on Providence Road and worried that the street is too narrow for the truck traffic.

Beverly Clark said she lives near a hairpin turn on Providence that creates hazards for motorists.

"I've had cars come right up on my lawn and rip out the trees," she said before the meeting. "But this project is going to happen, and they've made up their minds on how they're going to do it."

The route also disappointed Matt Herweck, president of the Providence Volunteer Fire Company at 1416 Providence Road - a two-lane thoroughfare the city estimates will be traveled between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. by up to six trucks per hour.

"It's not like it's a six-month thing that you have to live with," Herweck said. "They're talking three years."

Dan Kohnle, another fire company member, said the project was necessary. "It needs to be done somehow, that's what people need to remember," Kohnle said. "It will benefit everyone in the long run."

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