Judge halts Md. highway work in Rockville

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Montgomery County judge is ordering the State Highway Administration to halt work on a sound barrier along Interstate 270 in Rockville.

The Daily Record (http://bit.ly/1nE7yX3 ) reported Wednesday that the court denied the agency’s attempt to perform preliminary tests at the Woodley Gardens Shopping Center. The property owner’s lawyer says the case challenges a “highly intrusive” provision of the state’s eminent domain laws.

The question was whether the state’s right to take soil samples includes the right to jackhammer through the shopping center’s asphalt parking lot. The work was in preparation for a 2,500-foot noise barrier along northbound I-270.

Agency spokesman David Buck says the sound barrier would benefit 34 homes and Woodley Gardens Park. He says the agency hasn’t decided whether to appeal the July 17 ruling.

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