Cumberland Times-News

Columns

June 4, 2014

Working well?

SHA says the U-about is achieving its intended goal

— Only 10 people attended Tuesday’s session in which Delegate Kevin Kelly, representatives of the State Highway Adminisration and other officials discussed the U-about on U.S. Route 220, but that’s not surprising.

The session was held during the afternoon, when many people who might have attended were otherwise occupied ... including the drivers of tractor-trailers who must navigate what seems to many people an unnecessary, ill-designed and overly expensive piece of road construction.

Kelly requested the meeting, citing concerns he had heard from his constituents.

SHA officials say the north- and south-bound U-about is working well and has caused traffic to slow down, as it was intended to do.

They are looking at improving signage and taking other steps to make the place safer and more navigable. They realize this is a work in progress and needs some improvement. SHA estimates about 11,000 vehicles go through the section each day.

We disagree with one statement that was made during the meeting — that no accidents had taken place within the U-about.

There have been two that we know of, and the Times-News reported on both of them.

One happened when a runaway truck came down the exit ramp off Interstate 68 and struck a northbound van that was going through the U-about in February.

The other involved a northbound truck that became disabled and blocked traffic for a while last October after its snowplow clipped a concrete jersey wall during construction of the U-about.

Both trucks were State Highway Administration vehicles.

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