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Bypass tops Carroll's list of projects


The long-awaited Hampstead bypass - a $35 million road to ease traffic congestion on Route 30 - tops the list of eight highway projects the Carroll commissioners will discuss with state transportation officials tomorrow.

County officials plan to urge the Maryland Department of Transportation to start building the Hampstead bypass, which has been planned since 1960. The bypass would divert traffic, much of it trucks and tractor-trailers, from Hampstead's Main Street, Route 30.

The bypass would run roughly parallel to Route 30 from near Wolf Hill Drive to Brodbeck Road.

Carroll is one of 24 stops the Maryland Department of Transportation is making on its annual tour to present its proposed six-year highway improvements program, discuss future and continuing projects and gather local input on transportation issues.

The commissioners also will use the meeting to discuss reinstatement of a Manchester bypass, a project the state scrapped nearly three years ago. Gov. Parris N. Glendening killed bypasses for Westminster and Manchester, saying those roads would promote sprawl.

Other projects that the commissioners are requesting include improvements to Route 97, from Route 140 to Pleasant Valley Road near Carroll County Regional Airport, and studies of Route 97 at Kate Wagner Road in Westminster and Route 140 in Finksburg.

In South Carroll, the commissioners will seek improvements to Route 97 south of Route 26 and design planning for Route 26, from Route 32 west to Route 97. A similar study of Route 26 through Eldersburg is nearly complete and could result in nearly $20 million in additional lanes, a median and landscaping.

Also on the list, is the request to widen four lanes along Route 32 from Eldersburg to Interstate 70.

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