York Road widening to begin next month

The State Highway Administration will be starting a $14.6 million project next month to widen and resurface York Road between Cavan Drive and Ridgely Road in the Lutherville area, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s office announced yesterday.

SHA will improve traffic safety by providing a new center turn lane along this one-mile section of York Road, officials said. At the same time, the Baltimore County Department of Public Works will install a new 24-inch water main under the southbound lanes of York Road. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2009.


Improvements include: relocation of existing sidewalks; construction of new sidewalk with ADA-compatible ramps and brick accents; installation of new traffic signal equipment at Seminary Avenue, Bellona Avenue/Margate Road, the Lutherville Laboratory for Science, Mathematics and Communications driveway and Ridgely Road; and construction of new curbs, gutter and storm drain systems and overhead utilities.

Highway construction work and water main work is scheduled to begin early next month. One lane will be closed along York Road, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Nighttime double-lane closures will occur Sunday through Thursday between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. When necessary, triple lane closures may be permitted late at night Sunday through Thursday, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.


Access to businesses in the area will be maintained throughout the project. Work will be suspended during the Maryland State Fair in late summer, officials said.

SHA encourages residents and commuters to plan for extra travel time, and to use alternate routes such as Dulaney Valley Road, Interstate 83 and mass transit, when possible.

For information, call SHA's District 4 office at 410-321-2820 or 1-800-962-3077.

Disaster readiness

Conference to help nursing homes

A day-long conference to help local nursing homes and assisted-living facilities prepare for a disaster will be held from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Catonsville.

Sponsored by the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and related agencies, the conference is one of the first of its kind in the nation, officials said.

Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency are scheduled to attend to gather ideas for similar programs and training at the national level.


The keynote speaker will be Joseph Donchess, executive director of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association.

Baltimore County has 49 nursing homes and 299 assisted-living facilities, according to county officials.

Information: 410-887-2717.


I-95 closings, slowdowns expected

As part of the Rossville Boulevard bridge replacement project, ramps from eastbound and westbound Interstate 695 to northbound Interstate 95 will be closed to traffic temporarily and traffic slowdowns will occur on I-95.


The closings and slowdowns are expected to begin tomorrow , weather permitting.

Intermittent traffic slowdowns will occur on northbound I-95 in the area of the I-95/I-895 split (north of the city line). The traffic slowdowns will occur in 15-minute increments between midnight and 5 a.m.

Tomorrow through Friday, two lanes of northbound and southbound I-95 in the area of I-695 will be closed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.

From Monday through Thursday, the I-695 ramps will be closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Bridge construction is expected to be completed by summer 2007. The bridge replacement is the first associated with the I-95 Express Toll Lanes project. Information:



Volunteers sought for kindergarten

Baltimore County officials are looking for volunteers who can assist teachers in the county's kindergarten classrooms starting this fall.

County Executive James T. Smith Jr. proposed a plan as part of his 2007 operating budget to recruit seniors and others to volunteer in kindergarten classrooms. The county school system also received money to hire one paid helper per elementary school for this school year.

According to a description on the Baltimore County volunteers Web site, volunteers will be asked to do a number of tasks, such as greeting students and reinforcing skills with small groups of children. They will also read and listen to children.

Each volunteer is asked to spend between six and 15 hours per week at a school "to establish a consistent and positive learning environment for students and teachers alike," according to the description.

For more information, call 410-887-2715.