Series of shutdowns of Bay Bridge lanes begins smoothly...

ARUNDEL DIGEST

February 05, 2002

Series of shutdowns of Bay Bridge lanes begins smoothly

A brief scheduled closure of the eastbound Bay Bridge span went smoothly yesterday, state transportation officials said after the first of a series of weekday closures planned for the next several weeks.

The two eastbound lanes were shut at 9 a.m. to allow oversize tractor-trailers heading west to cross the bridge. Construction work on the westbound span prevents wide-load vehicles from crossing.

Maryland Transportation Authority officials said that eastbound bridge traffic backed up about a mile to Sandy Point State Park but cleared by 9:15 a.m. Lanes will be briefly closed at 9 a.m. weekdays until mid-April, officials said.

Board of Appeals hearing on Acton's Landing tonight

Board of Appeals hearings on the redevelopment of the former Anne Arundel Medical Center site in downtown Annapolis will begin tonight.

The Acton's Landing development, which received approval from the city's Planning Commission last month, needs the approval of the Board of Appeals and the city's Historic Preservation Commission before the developer, Virginia-based Madison Homes, can obtain building permits.

Board Chairwoman Judith Billage said Madison Homes will make its presentation to the board tonight. The second night of hearings, scheduled for Feb. 13, will include presentations by the city and the Planning Commission.

Public testimony could begin at that meeting or carry over to a third, as-yet-unscheduled hearing.

Acton's Landing is slated to include 26 senior-restricted condominium apartments, 58 other condominium apartments, 15 townhouses, a duplex and 13 single-family homes.

It is the first major residential development in the historic district in decades.

The Board of Appeals will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers in City Hall on Duke of Gloucester Street. Billage said she intends to end the meeting about 11 p.m.

House bill to preserve school district lines filed

Two delegates from Anne Arundel County introduced a bill last week in the General Assembly that would preserve current district lines for county school board representation.

New boundaries for General Assembly districts are to go into effect Feb. 22, moving some Anne Arundel towns into districts that are based in other counties.

With the new boundaries, people who live in those towns - including parts of Crofton and Gambrills - would not be eligible to run for any of the four district-based seats on the county school board.

Those residents would be able to run for the three at-large board seats.

House Bill 554, filed by Del. John R. Leopold and Del. Theodore J. Sophocleus, calls for the school board districts to be based on the Assembly districts as they now exist.

BWI overhaul to bring changing traffic patterns

Baltimore-Washington International Airport is changing traffic patterns as it moves ahead with its $1.8 billion construction overhaul.

The upper-level road is scheduled to be closed today to allow for paving and maintenance work as the airport prepares to shift upper-level traffic onto a new ramp Saturday.

The two lanes that now lead to the upper-level roadway will be blocked by construction drums and cones during the lane closures; access will be maintained for emergency vehicles. Other traffic will be diverted to the two lower-level arrival lanes.

Flagmen and signs will offer traffic direction.

On Saturday, travelers will use Interstate 195 as the main entrance to BWI. Customers returning rental cars should use Elm Road. Travelers should follow signs to the new upper-level ramp, which will lead to the airline departure entrances.

Drivers circling the airport as they wait for travelers must take Route 170 to reach I-195 East, which leads to the airport terminal. Because of the new routes, BWI officials recommend that cars picking up travelers park in the short-term lot rather than circle the terminal. (The first 30 minutes of parking are free.)

This new return route will remain in place through October or November until the airport's new roadway network is complete.

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