Harford Week

April 27, 2003

State plans to widen I-95 from Baltimore to Delaware line

Responding to the complaints of commuters tired of crawling into Baltimore on Interstate 95, the state is planning to widen the highway by four lanes from the city line to White Marsh.

It will be the first segment of a $2 billion I-95 expansion plan that calls for adding lanes to the Delaware line over the next 20 years. Traffic on the road is expected to grow 40 percent by 2020.

"Even now we're experiencing very heavy congestion," said Tom Osborne, executive secretary of the Maryland Transportation Authority, which manages I-95 from Baltimore to Delaware.

Officials said the widening will not require the use of state tax dollars because the authority's budget comes from tolls collected on state roadways and tunnels. A recent toll increase on I-95 and other roads from $2 to $4 will bring in $45 million a year, much of it designated for the expansion project.

Construction on the eight-mile segment from the Baltimore line to White Marsh Boulevard is to begin in 2006, with completion by 2008 at the earliest. That portion of I-95, now eight lanes wide, would grow to 12.

Then, over the next 10 to 20 years, the plan calls for adding two lanes in each direction of I-95 from White Marsh to Route 24 in Harford County. From there, one lane eventually would be added each way to the Delaware line. Increased tolls will probably be needed to cover those costs.

Delaware officials also are planning to widen I-95 to 10 lanes as far north as Delaware Route141.

Delaware Department of Transportation officials expect to outline the roughly $150 million to $180 million project this week during public workshops. State officials have no timetable for the project and haven't said how it would be funded.

Mustard agent destruction begins at Aberdeen

Destruction Aberdeen Proving Ground's mustard agent stockpile began last week. The process will take about six months.

The disposal, which was originally scheduled for completion by 2006, was accelerated under an initiative born from post Sept. 11, 2001, security concerns.

"Given the terrorists threat facing our nation, these toxins must be destroyed as soon as possible," U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, said in a statement.

Mustard agent is a syrupy liquid. The blister agent has been stored for more than 60 years at the Chemical Agent Storage Yard in the Edgewood Area of the base.

Members of the Army's Technical Escort Team, which specializes in dealing with hazardous materials, and a team of 400 people from Bechtel Aberdeen -- the contractor on the project -- will move the large steel containers to the Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.

After a slow start, the neutralization facility is expected to drain and neutralize an average of 12 containers a day.

After the agent is removed the steel containers will be decontaminated and cut in two for recycling.

Dublin man charged in death of elderly man

A 37-year-old man was arrested and charged with murder Tuesday after a body wrapped in sheets and covered with leaves was found near his trailer home in Dublin.

The body of Thurmond Brown Copin, in his 70s, was found with head injuries on the property where George William Scarborough lived in the 2900 block of Dublin Road, the Harford County Sheriff's Office reported.

Authorities said Copin's girlfriend, who had been away for the Easter holiday, reported him missing Monday night. Investigators knew of no motive in the slaying and are continuing to search the property for evidence, the Sheriff's Office said.

Jarrettsville woman dies after Harford collision

A Jarrettsville woman died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center shortly after she was injured in a collision in the Baldwin area of Harford County, state police said Tuesday.

Kelsey Lynn Guckert, 20, of the 1900 block of Forest Guard Court was driving a Chevrolet Cavalier east on Route 23 near Baldwin Mill Road about 2:30 p.m. Monday when the driver of a westbound pickup truck crossed a double line in an attempt to pass another vehicle, police said.

Police said the pickup truck, driven by Anthony J. Skidmore, 32, also of Jarrettsville, struck the side mirror of an eastbound vehicle, then collided head-on with Guckert's car. He was treated for minor injuries, police said.

Heaps School Road reopens to traffic

Heaps School Road between Route 542 and Bay Road has reopened after the completion of a bridge repair project, Harford County Construction Management Bureau officials announced last week.

Work to begin on Haslett Road

Haslett Road between Joppa Farm and Garnett roads will be closed for about two weeks starting May 5 for a drainage improvement project. Detour signs will be posted, Harford highway officials said.

For more information, contact the Harford County Construction Management Bureau at 410-638-3561.

Main Street to be closed in Whiteford for 6 months

Main Street in the Whiteford/Cardiff area will be closed for about six months, starting Thursday for road reconstruction.

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