Roadwork starts along part of Route 140

May 16, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Traffic cones and drums on Route 140 signal the start of a half-million-dollar project along a half-mile stretch of the divided road on its approach to Westminster, according to the State Highway Administration.

Construction will include adding a concrete median and acceleration and deceleration lanes near the Maryland State Police barracks and Motor Vehicle Administration offices - east of Route 97, said Lora Rakowski, an SHA spokeswoman.

Crossovers between the eastbound and westbound lanes will be closed temporarily at Hemlock Lane and at the state buildings, she said. Single lanes might be closed intermittently during nonpeak travel hours, usually between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and after 7 p.m.

"We're really trying to get the work-zone safety message out," said Rakowski, noting that a national conference on the subject was held last month in Seat Pleasant.

"This is one of as many as 500 work zones in Maryland this spring and summer," she said. "It's not just major construction projects: Any type of litter pickup, mowing - any time you have any kind of traffic device or workers in the roadway, we consider that a work zone."

The Route 140 construction zone will be between Hemlock Lane and the MVA, she said, and work is to be completed by late summer, depending upon the weather. The project includes grading and paving, new signs and pavement markers.

The contract was awarded to Melvin Benhoff Sons Inc. of Baltimore.

Lt. Terry L. Katz, Westminster barracks commander, said troopers have experienced area roadwork.

"At this stage, we've handled construction when we had the barracks going up, and the MVA and the shopping center next door," he said. The new barracks opened in July 1999, and the crossover was closed for about 2 1/2 years during the construction projects, he said.

"We have a great working relationship with SHA. It would take a phone call to straighten out any problem, if we had any," Katz said. "I don't anticipate any major problems and if we have a minor one, we'll talk to SHA and get it resolved."

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