BY BRYNA ZUMER, Record staff
11:12 PM EDT, September 12, 2012
Harford County has embarked on a $1.6 million renovation of Robin Hood Road between Aberdeen and Havre de Grace in an attempt to make the street easier and safer to travel, the county's highways chief said last week.
"Essentially, the roadway was originally constructed as a tar [and] chip road, which is perfectly acceptable for a rural roadway, but not structurally adequate to serve heavy vehicles or higher volumes of traffic," Jeff Stratmeyer wrote in an e-mail. "Furthermore, there were concerns about the structural integrity and hydraulic capacity of the culverts near Palomino Ranch Road and the vehicular capacity (number of vehicles...) at [Route] 40."
"It was decided to move forward with an upgrade of the entire road section (from [Route 40] to Titan Terrace) to correct these concerns and to improve overall road safety by widening the road slightly and flattening out some of the sharp curves," Stratmeyer explained.
The total cost of the project, including design, right-of-way agreements and construction, is about $1.6 million.
He said the project was originally set to be done and the road to reopen by the start of school, but that changed.
"Due to some safety concerns associated with the change in road grade near the culvert, we agreed to extend the road closure for several more weeks until that particular area could be completed," Stratmeyer said. "This resulted in a safer construction zone (for both the motorists and the contractor) as well as a cost savings to the county."
Stratmeyer said the work did not affect the narrow, low railroad overpass between Route 40 and the road.
"The underpass is very restricted in width due to the railroad bridge's abutment and the stream embankment," he wrote. "While we are widening the road on either side of the underpass, to widen it at the underpass would have been extremely cost prohibitive (especially considering that it is an active railroad)."
"As part of their off-site improvements, The Greens at Rock Glen development was required to lower the roadway grade at the underpass to make passage for tractor trailers easier," he wrote. "This work was accomplished several years ago and our work is simply matching the grade that they installed at this location."
He mentioned the project had been listed in the 2011 capital budget as a road scheduled for upgrades.
That budget said: "The existing road section is not able to structurally accommodate the additional traffic generated from the planned developments in the area."