- The Washington Times - Friday, August 8, 2008

MARYLAND

TEMPLE HILLS

Beltway ramp worsens delays

A change on the Capital Beltway that was supposed to alleviate congestion is actually making it worse.

The Maryland State Highway Administration opened a new flyover ramp from the Beltway’s Inner Loop to southbound Branch Avenue in Prince George’s County on Friday.

The new ramp merges with the exit ramp from the Outer Loop, and that’s causing confusion and backups.

Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck told WTOP-FM that the agency didn’t anticipate the problems. He says the project was supposed to help alleviate delays.

Mr. Buck said road crews have been on the scene trying to find solutions. Officials are hoping they can do something simple like re-striping the ramps to change the merge point.

BALTIMORE

Zoo funds better, maintenance lags

The Maryland Zoo said its revenues were enough to cover its expenses in fiscal 2008 — the first time that’s happened since 2004.

But the zoo isn’t out of the woods yet financially. Spokeswoman Jane Ballentine said the zoo still has about $30 million in deferred maintenance, and zoo leaders are trying to raise private funds to tackle some of those issues.

The maintenance problems have left the zoo in danger of losing its accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Ms. Ballentine said a team from the AZA visited the zoo last month and that a decision on accreditation will come in September.

The zoo will have a current $12.5 million budget .

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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