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County Comment: Maugans Avenue: What's Next?

County Comment
Maugans Avenue: What's Next?
by Norman Bassett, Washington County Public Information Officer

Anyone who routinely drives in the northern part of Washington County will attest that there are times of day and certain intersections where traffic can come to a dead halt.
One of the worst of these areas is the stretch of Maugans Avenue that runs between Pennsylvania Avenue and Interstate 81. The worst time for traffic gridlock are, of course rush hours in the morning and afternoon, but traffic flow is a problem all day in that area.
Washington County's Department of Public Works has had Maugans Avenue in its cross hairs for a very long time, and work has begun on realignment of the Intersection at Pennsylvania Avenue and related improvements along the entire stretch.
The neighborhood is being kept informed of the changes through letters and public meetings, and recently Public Works Director Gary Rohrer wrote to property owners in the area.
Rohrer said that the Engineering Department is nearing completion of design work for the reconstruction and the Division of Public Works will be conducting another public information meeting on the project. Property owners adjacent to the proposed project and the general public will be updated on the status and schedule of the project. The meeting is scheduled to be held at Maugansville Elementary School on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
"The Engineering staff and I look forward to this opportunity to meet with you to discuss the project and address your concern," Rohrer said.
The Public Works Director wrote that Washington County has programmed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) funds for Maugans Avenue. The project will proceed to construction within the next several months.
"We will upgrade Maugans Avenue from a two-lane roadway to a five-lane roadway comprised of two lanes in each direction with a center left turn lane as well as a sidewalk along the south side of the roadway. Along with the Maugans Avenue upgrades, we will be providing additional turn lanes at the Pennsylvania Avenue intersection and making minor modifications to the Interstate 81 ramps in order to accommodate new traffic signals. We firmly believe that this long-awaited project will provide improved safety and convenience to the public. To this end, we believe that the project will afford property owners a safer means of ingress and egress to and from their respective properties. Our design team is also striving to provide an aesthetically pleasing section of roadway as one of their goals."
Rohrer said the meeting will entail a general overview of the project status and schedule, provide a general discussion of some of the projects design features, and answer questions of a general nature. Afterward, staff will be available at various displays to speak with you and answer your individual questions.
If there are questions or citizens wish to discuss the project in person prior to the meeting, contact Terry McGee, Chief Engineer of Washington County at 240-313-2400.
"Mr. McGee will be glad to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. You may also feel free to contact me at 240-313-2250. In the meantime, I look forward to meeting you at the public information meeting to discuss this exciting project," Rohrer said.

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