Lewis Lane work to go ahead without street direction changes in Grace Manor

The planned reconstruction of Havre de Grace's Lewis Lane from Route 40 through the CSX crossing, which was delayed by a controversy over proposed traffic changes in the Grace Manor community, is set to move forward. Traffic patterns won't change.

The work will start on July 16 and is expected to last up to 7 1/2 weeks, public works director Larry Parks said.

"There will be no traffic pattern changes in Grace Manor or Havre de Hills other than access to Route 40," Parks wrote in an e-mail. "That is to say[,] Lewis Lane will be closed from the CSX to Route 40 while construction is underway."

Parks' original idea of making the two main streets through Grace Manor one-way in opposite upset plenty of residents, and Havre de Grace City Council members held a hearing in May on the proposal to change the traffic pattern.

While Lewis Lane was being reconstructed around the CSX Railroad crossing, the city planned a temporary traffic change to make Grace Manor Drive one way from Chapel Road to Joe Hill Drive and Joe Hill Drive one way to Chapel Road.

The debate highlighted residents' concerns about traffic and safety in general in Grace Manor.

Mayor Wayne Dougherty said Wednesday the ad hoc committee formed to study the Grace Manor traffic situation is expected to reach a conclusion by September. Newly-elected Councilman David Glenn is the head of the ad hoc committee.

Meanwhile, he said, it made sense for the Lewis Lane construction to proceed without any traffic changes.

"There was no sense in it, at that point," Dougherty said.

Dougherty said the city sent out letters about the change of plans regarding the one-way streets, and "got a great response."

He expects to ultimately order a traffic study and, after construction is completed on Lewis Lane, to look at alternate routes for people to get from the west side of town to Route 40 and the east side.

Recommendations had been made to widen Ohio Street, from Ontario Street to Route 40; extending Camilla Street to Ontario Street; and using Bulle Rock or Bayview Drive as alternates.

"All of that is on the table right now, and what we are going to do is wait for the recommendations to come back. When they come back, I will do a final report," Dougherty said.

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