This winter, I visited a friend living in Panama and did the obligatory tour of the famous canal. The container ships moving through the locks are mind-bogglingly huge, like barges on steroids. But they’re not big enough — which is why Panama is in the midst of widening its canal, in order to accommodate even more gigantic ships. There are only two ports on the East Coast that are already deep enough to host these new mega-ships, and Baltimore is one of them; other cities are having to spend millions to dredge their ports to stay competitive. So far so good, right? Except…
Last week, in response to our Charles Street repave-take-two report, a reader wrote, “Would love to know the story behind the sidewalk to nowhere that sits alongside the new bridge at Charles Street and the Beltway…” She’s talking about the incomplete sidewalk at Charles at Bellona, and we appreciate her astute infrastructure question. A phone call to super-personable Valerie Burnette Edgar, director of communications for the Maryland State Highway Administration, solved the mystery. We asked Burnette Edgar a pile of concrete questions: Is this a sidewalk constructed by Historic Byway money? If not, where do funds come from? What is the purpose of pouring one here? When will the project be complete?
An engineer on top of the sidewalk job emailed the following, “The project is constructing continuous sidewalk along both sides of Charles Street from Kenilworth Avenue, which has existing sidewalk, to Bellona Avenue, and then along both sides of Bellona to the east of Charles Street to Orchard Hills Park at Othoridge Road and along the north side of Bellona west of Charles, to provide pedestrian access to the businesses. Note, not all construction is complete yet. Funding was not from Historic Byway money, but was provided from the federal and state transportation funds as part of the interchange reconstruction.” The work will be finished by summer 2012.
Is this a walkway you will use? Got an infrastructure puzzler? Please post below!