City to begin construction projects on local roads
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 11:48

The project is expected to give Dundalk Avenue a facelift. photo by Ben Boehl

Area projects expected to take two years

by Ben Boehl

The next few years might be a little hectic on the roads near the county-city line in Dundalk. The Baltimore City  Department of  Transportation is ready to begin construction on its Southeast Road Reconstruction Project program.
    Kathy Chopper, spokesperson for the Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation, said the projects includes. the Dundalk Avenue Streetscape, the Broening Highway Reconstruction and the Southeast Intersection Improvements.
    “These construction projects will be completed in order to improve the roadway infrastructure and to increase roadway safety and capacity,”  Chopper said.   
    Even though these project are only on city roads, it will affect county residents who use the city roads. For example, Dundalk residents who travel from Old Dundalk to German Hill Road typically use Dundalk Avenue, which crosses into the city before reaching Holabird Avenue.             Although transitioning between county and city roads has usually been imperceptible, motorists traveling on Dundalk Avenue will become aware of the city limits with the sight of the construction work.
    “We will have one lane open at all times,” said John Kutz, superintendent of the Dundalk Avenue Streetscape project. “Traffic should not be an issue.”
    The same analysis applies for St. Helena residents traveling along Broening Highway. Once they reach Colgate Creek Bridge, the city limits begin and so does the construction.
    The project is broken into three different parts. The Dundalk Avenue Streetscape project will start at the city line on the street and run north to Eastern Avenue.
    According to Kutz, the purpose of the project is to make the area more attractive and  more safer with upgrades to Dundalk Avenue for vehicles, pedestrians, transit users and bicyclists. A new bike lane will be added to the road, but Kutz promised it won’t be like Boston Street, where the bike lane is in the center of the lane.
    “We are going to put in a bike lane that will be on the right and away from the road,” Kutz added.
    The project is slated to include landscaping and an artistic element. It should begin sometime in the next month and the scheduled completion date is 2014.
    Next, the Broening Highway project was scheduled to begin in November but already had one lane closed in each direction as early as last week. The project is also expected to be completed by fall 2014.
    “Lane closures have been implemented along the Colgate Creek Bridge in order to keep traffic from traveling on the areas in need of repair.   Actual repair work is anticipated to begin in late November,” Chopper added.
    This project calls for roadway resurfacing and pedestrian ramp improvements, utility and drainage upgrades, new streetlights and updated  traffic signals with pedestrian countdowns. In addition, a 20-inch water main will be replaced and Keith Avenue will be reconfigurated to accommodate two-way traffic.
    “During construction, through lanes of traffic will remain open for commuters,” Chopper said. “A detour route will be necessary for during the construction phase along the Colgate Creek Bridge.”
    Finally, the Southeast Intersection Improvement Project calls improved safety and capacity at four intersections.
    At O’Donnell Street from S. Ponca Street to Interstate Avenue, the area will be widened to be  a right turn lane for the eastbound approach. The intersection of O’Donnell Street near Interstate Avenue will receive a full pavement reconstruction.
    On Boston Street from South Ponca to Haven Street, a westbound right turn lane will be installed.
    And on Boston Street at South Clinton Street, the current parking lane will become a right turn lane.
    There will also be stormwater management enhancements and landscape beautification at this site.
    The city warns motorists that this project will result in some lane closures and parking restrictions. This project should be completed by the fall of 2013.