One in four county bridges in line for upgrades

Frederick News Post
Kelsi Loos
10/20/2013
Keeping Maryland's bridges safe for traffic is a big job. Frank Mills, a State Highway Administration supervisor, oversees 18 inspectors who work in seven teams to check the integrity of bridges and overpasses around the state. “A lot of them work seven days a week,” he said. Inspectors check welds, bearings, cement and guardrails for deficiencies. They also make sure a thick coat of paint is in place to prevent rust damage. “We use pretty simple tools, geology picks, that kind of thing,” Mills said. A geology pick is a small hammer often used to chip rocks. When counties issue a flood warning, like Frederick did earlier this month, crews check bridges for scour — or erosion — on bridge pillars as waters rise. Mills' crew has thousands of bridges to inspect and keeping up with all of them can be challenging, he said. “We're always shoveling sand against the tide,” he said.

U.S. 15-Monocacy interchange gets regional stamp of approval

Frederick News Post
Kelsi Loos
07/25/2013
It could soon get easier to travel across town in Frederick now that a regional transportation planning board has given its blessing to the long-awaited U.S. 15 and Monocacy Boulevard interchange. The Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board voted last week to include the project in its transportation improvement program. Construction is set to be completed in 2016. The state agreed in May to use funds raised from the gas tax increase to foot the $84.5 million bill for construction, but the plan still had to be approved by appropriate regional authorities — in this case, the council of governments.

Commissioners OK tech park plan

Property owners to get special taxes
Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
07/20/2012
A major development project could be headed for an October groundbreaking after a jump-start from Frederick County officials. Four commissioners Thursday voted to approve a plan to sell up to $40 million of county-issued bonds to fund road improvements and off-site sewer construction for the Jefferson Technology Park. Property owners in the development will pay off the bonds, with its new residents shouldering hundreds of dollars per year in special taxes. Owners of commercial properties could pay even more. The two resolutions and ordinance solidifying the financial arrangement represent a creative way to stimulate a stalled project and draw major employers to the area, Commissioners President Blaine Young said.