Cumberland Times-News

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December 23, 2008

Signs alert truck drivers to low underpass in Ridgeley

Mineral works with Maryland SHA to curb traffic tie-ups

KEYSER, W.Va. — The Mineral County Commissioners are pleased with new signage that has gone up throughout the Cumberland area to keep large trucks from attempting to get onto state Route 28 through Ridgeley.

“I would like to authorize on behalf of the commission a letter of appreciation,” Commissioner Wayne Spiggle said. “It would tie up traffic for hours and cause property damage through trucks turning around.”

The changes in signs included the addition of several markings warning drivers of the low clearance on the road through Ridgeley and the risk for low vehicles getting hung up on railroad tracks, according to George Small, assistant district engineer of traffic at the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Small said the effort to get the new signage up and others already on Interstate 68 changed was cooperative with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Maryland SHA, and the towns of Ridgeley and Cumberland.

He said one of the first things they knew needed to be done was to remove the signage for Route 28 through Ridgeley from I-68, and that had to be done cooperatively through both state agencies.

A simple search engine routing would send a person through Ridgeley because of these signs, Small said, and that was why the I-68 signs had to be changed to encourage drivers to use state Route 51 to get to Route 28, bypassing the problem areas in Ridgeley.

In addition, roads throughout Cumberland also post the warnings of the low underpass and low under clearance.

Small said the goal is to reduce traffic in Ridgeley, but that the problem may always be there as long as Route 28 is considered a trucking route.

“The first time a truck goes through there, someone will complain that (the signing) didn’t work,” Small said. “Will this do the trick? I don’t know.”

Spiggle’s request for the letter of appreciation for Maryland SHA’s efforts was approved at the commission’s special meeting Friday morning.

Contact Sarah Moses at smoses@times-news.com.

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