By DON AINES
11:32 PM EDT, October 10, 2012
Progress, traffic and drainage were among the issues mentioned by the approximately 30 people who attended a public information meeting Wednesday evening about a $9.6 million project to extend Yale Drive.
By the end of the year design work on the one-mile project is expected to be completed with bids being advertised in February 2013, Robert Slocum, the deputy director of the Washington County Division of Public Works, told those in attendance at Ruth Ann Monroe Primary School. The road should open on or before September 2014, he said.
“I think the project is needed ... it will develop into a good thing for the neighborhood,” said Robert Mann, who lives in Colonial Park.
“My property adjoins the medical property ... I was interested in seeing where the road was going to go,” said Ron Horn of Stanford Road. Horn said he doubts extending Yale Drive would improve traffic in the area unless the county deals with traffic through Colonial Park to and from Dual Highway on Cornell Avenue.
That will be the subject of another public meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the school.
Since Meritus Medical Center and the Robinwood Medical Center opened, 20,000 vehicles a week have been using Cornell Drive, Horn said.
“I’m concerned about the contractors more than anything,” said Ed Lushbaugh, who lives off Robinwood Drive. He said he wants to see local companies get the contracts although it is an open bidding process.
“I’m in favor of progress. My concern is drainage,” said David Jones of Stanford Road. His property is relatively low-lying and he said he wants to see more detail on the storm water drainage plan for the project.
The project will also provide a road through Mount Aetna Farm, a tract of more than 200 acres, Slocum said. That land is slated to be developed by the Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation into a technology park, he said.
The visual presentation stated that the park is expected to generate jobs in the medical, biomedical and cyber security, as well as other technologies.
Over a period of years, Yale Drive and planned connecting roads will join Meritus Medical Center and the college campus, said Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth.
One road will go off Yale Drive to Professional Court to provide a connection to Eastern Boulevard and another will connect it to Robinwood Drive, he said.
“With any highway project, the residents in the area are typically concerned about how it will effect traffic around their homes and businesses,” said Kroboth. The concerns and suggestions received Wednesday night will be incorporated as “corrective measures in the design,” he said.
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