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Route 30 crossing to be rebuilt Hampstead traffic will be detoured


Maryland Route 30 in Hampstead will be closed to through traffic from Aug. 23 to Aug. 27 so the CSX railroad crossing at the north end of town can be rebuilt.

"I'm happy to see it," Hampstead Mayor Clint Becker said yesterday.

An estimated 100,000 vehicles will have to detour around the closure during that week, according to the State Highway Administration.

Earlier, town officials had expressed the hope that the work would be finished before school starts in September, and timed to avoid clashing with the Hampstead fire department carnival, Aug. 9 to Aug. 14.

"Our meeting must have paid off," Hampstead Town Manager John A. Riley said yesterday.

Representatives of CSX Transportation and the SHA were invited to the July 19 Hampstead Town Council meeting to discuss the project.

At that session, the town council decided to ask the SHA to allow the work to go forward, even though it would require that the state highway be closed for one work week.

On Friday, SHA Assistant District Engineer Gene Straub wrote to CSX, saying the SHA "reluctantly" granted approval to close Route 30 from 9 a.m. Aug. 23 until 3 p.m. Aug. 27. He also said he hopes the work will be done more quickly, to allow the road to reopen before Aug. 27.

CSX Transportation had asked for permission to close the road from 8 a.m. Aug. 23 until 5 p.m. Aug. 27.

In May, the SHA told the railroad it could close the highway only over a weekend. At the July 19 town council meeting, Mr. Straub said the SHA "could not live with" a full closure during the work week.

However, the railroad responded that it could not afford the extra $15,000 it would cost to do the repairs over a weekend, and the town asked the SHA to allow the repairs to proceed.

The renovation project calls for CSX to install a rubberized crossing. The new road surface will be smoother for vehicle traffic and will have a longer life than the current crossing.

During the road closure, heavy vehicles will be detoured onto Routes 27 and 482. Other traffic may use Brodbeck Road and Route 482.

The work is expected to cost the railroad $37,000 to $40,000.

In his Friday letter to CSX, Mr. Straub said the railroad is to pay for all traffic-control measures related to the project. He said the railroad must supply two variable message signs to warn motorists of the closure.

The SHA will arrange for appropriate changes in traffic-signal timing and will provide a radio traffic advisory service in the area, on radio frequency 530.

According to the SHA, 20,000 vehicles a day use the Hampstead section of Route 30 during the workweek.

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