City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

Baltimore & region

December 07, 2005

Road project on fast track after Carroll chips in

An unprecedented sharing of costs for roadway safety improvements in Eldersburg has moved a Carroll County project ahead on the State Highway Administration's priority list.

The county has offered $2.5 million, more than half the estimated $4.3 million cost, to widen Route 26 at Route 32, add a southbound turn lane to Route 32, build a six-foot median for about a half-mile on Route 32 to Macbeth Way and install a traffic signal at Macbeth Way.

"This is the first partnership of this magnitude I can recall," said Mark Crampton, SHA's assistant district engineer for project development.

The intersection of Routes 32 and 26 has high traffic and accidents.

"The state has many more projects than funds and a long list of safety issues," Crampton said. "We often have to pick the most unsafe."

Prompted by complaints from residents and support from state legislators and county officials, state highway officials said yesterday that they will design the proposed improvements and put the project out to bid late next year. Construction would begin in the spring of 2007 and should be completed by the end of that year.

"The improvements will create an adequate merge area for traffic from eastbound Route 26 moving onto Route 32," said Steven C. Horn, county director of planning.

That widening, made possible with the razing of several vacant buildings at the corner, should improve the morning rush hour for motorists traveling south on Route 32 to Howard County and Interstate 95.

Mary Gail Hare

Baltimore County: Arbutus

Board says company may not expand

The Baltimore County Board of Appeals voted yesterday to prevent a trucking company from expanding closer to residents in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Arbutus. The panel sided with those concerned about increased noise and pollution by New England Motor Freight Co.'s proposal. The New Jersey-based company's plan had been approved last year by a zoning commissioner who granted a special exception to rules that require trucking companies to be set back 300 feet from residences.

Laura Barnhardt

Baltimore: Federal court

2 men sentenced in fraud scheme

Two 35-year-old California men convicted of setting up fake companies in Maryland to cheat finance corporations were sentenced to prison yesterday in federal court in Baltimore. U.S. District Chief Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Ernest Robert Reinhardt to nearly six years and Byron Allen to more than three years. A jury convicted both men on multiple counts of wire fraud after a nine-week trial. The men will have to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution. Twelve other defendants in the case have entered guilty pleas for fraud and received sentences ranging from five months to years in prison.

Matthew Dolan

Baltimore: Inner Harbor

Memorial service aboard the Taney

A memorial service is set for today on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Taney to mark the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Built in Philadelphia in the 1930s, the ship was named for Roger B. Taney of Maryland, who was named chief justice of the United States in 1836. The ship, docked at Pier 5 in the Inner Harbor, is the last ship from the attack still afloat. The event, at 11:45 a.m., is sponsored by the Baltimore Maritime Museum and National Historic Seaport of Baltimore.

Baltimore: Morgan State

Herring Run group to meet tonight

The Herring Run Watershed Association is to hold its annual meeting at 6 tonight in the auditorium of the William Donald Schaefer Engineering Building at Morgan State University, 5200 Perring Parkway. The meeting will include the introduction of new directors and the launch of a capital campaign to renovate a building for the Herring Run Watershed Center.

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