City discusses Wesel Boulevard upgrades

If all goes as planned, Hagerstown drivers will see major roadwork on Wesel Boulevard this fall as a $6 million project begins.

The significant updates are to help accommodate the expected traffic increase associated with a planned 2.2 million square feet of warehousing and distribution space divided among four buildings. Two large buildings will be on one side of Wesel Boulevard and two smaller buildings will be on the other.

In an update to the Hagerstown City Council and mayor Tuesday, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said a traffic impact study found the pavement, originally from the 1980s, was inadequate to handle the expected amount of daily vehicles and large trucks.

City documents recommend a complete reconstruction from the city line to Burhans Boulevard, including removing the existing asphalt and constructing a new pavement section.

Tissue said the project developer, Missouri-based Northpoint Development, agreed to help pay for some of the improvements related to its plans for the $139 million development.

According to Jill Thompson, the city director of community and economic development, NorthPoint will pay $1.8 million for road upgrades regardless of the final cost. The remaining $4.2 million will come from the city and the county, at 35.7% and 64.3%, respectively.

She said the city will be responsible for advertising and awarding bids for the portion, and plans are currently being designed by Frederick, Seibert & Associates.

Tissue said the city hopes to put bids out for the project starting in June or July and begin work by August or September.

Thompson said the city must complete the road construction by June 2021.

Agreements for the project will go before the city council and the Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday.

NorthPoint Chief Marketing Officer Brent Miles said the warehousing project could bring in more than 1,500 jobs.

City documents state two of the buildings are planned to start construction in March and be completed in December, with the other buildings planned to start March 2021 and be completed December 2021.

Miles said once the first two buildings are partially leased, work on the next two will begin.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission approved the project’s concept plan in August and the site plan for the first two buildings Dec. 11.

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