Motorists still feeling effects of Dundalk Avenue construction
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:07

Work continued on Dundalk Avenue last week, but many motorists and residents are becoming impatient.
photo by Ben Boehl 

by Ben Boehl

    Will the Dundalk Avenue road construction project ever be completed?
    Pat Cosentini is one of those who says he is tired of the construction and the damage driving on the road has done to his vehicle. Cosentini said the road has been so bad that he damaged the wheel rims on his vehicle; he pointed out that he drives a vehicle with 18-inch tires.
    “[It] has taken a toll on many, many vehicles,” Cosentini said. “The road conditions during this improvement have been at some points worse than a dirt road.”
    Cosentini added that his brother-in-law also had to get a new set of rims and has heard about other cars needing wheel alignments done due to the wear and tear of traveling on Dundalk Avenue.
    “It’s frustrating, because they will make a new section, but the transition to that section is larger than a speed bump,” Cosentini noted.
    The Dundalk Avenue construction is part of  Baltimore City Department of  Transportation’s (BCDOT) Southeast Road Reconstruction Project program.
    The project includes the Dundalk Avenue Streetscape, along with the Broening Highway Reconstruction and the Southeast Intersection Improvements.
    BCDOT announced the plan, including upgrades to Dundalk Avenue for vehicles, pedestrians, transit users and bicyclists, two years ago.
    A new bike lane was slated to be added, along with landscaping and an artistic element. The project started in the fall of 2012 and was scheduled for completion by the fall of 2014.
    Graceland Park Improvement Association’s president Celestine “Babe” Grabowski said that the project might take a little longer than expected because the city got a late start after BGE took the opportunity to put in new gas lines and meters while the road was under repair.
    However, Grabowski estimated that the BGE project only delayed the city for a few weeks and said the project should be near completion.
    “They are shooting for the end of November to get it all done,” Grabowski said in early July. “They are hoping for mid-November.”
    Cosentini said the project is getting close to completion, but he does not believe the road will be ready within the next few months.
    “I don’t know when the project will be over, but there is no way they will get it done by [the fall],” Cosentini said.
    Adrienne Barnes from BCDOT gave The Eagle an update on the project on Monday and confirmed Cosentini’s assessment that Dundalk Avenue will not be completed by the fall.
    “Only southbound roadways will be completed by end of this year,” Barnes  said. “Northbound roadways [have] extensive concrete base repairs — very old concrete — and will be done in spring 2015.”
    Barnes added that Dundalk Avenue will have aesthetic elements added after road work is completed, but will not have any bicycle lanes because it will be a truck route.