Construction of a pedestrian skywalk at the Baltimore Sun snarled rush hour traffic near the newspaper's Calvert Street offices today, but officials say the detour should be gone by Wednesday morning.
Only one block of Centre Street, between Calvert Street and Guilford Avenue, has been blocked by the construction. But the detour, announced late last week, backed up northbound traffic on Calvert Street, and eastbound traffic on Centre Street.
Centre Street traffic is being detoured north on Calvert, east on Monument Street, south on Guilford, then east again on Centre.
The detour also backed up southbound traffic on Guilford Avenue, as far as the Guilford Avenue exit from the Jones Falls Expressway.
The 240-foot skywalk will connect the main building with the new Chesapeake Centre offices and parking garage to the north.
Centre Street was closed late Friday to make way for the assembly of heavy cranes, which were used yesterday morning to lift the main sections of the skywalk into place over Centre Street.
Transit and Traffic spokeswoman Vanessa Collins said tie-ups were aggravated by a contractor whose truck blocked the east curb lane on Calvert Street for a time.
The detour also was slowed by cross-traffic entering the Baltimore Sun garage on Monument Street.
The city hoped to speed traffic tomorrow by making adjustments to traffic lights at Calvert and Centre and Guilford and Centre. Traffic officials will patrol the area to keep rush hour traffic moving.
Baltimore Sun spokesman K.C. Burton said the cranes were being used again today to lift trusses for the skywalk's lasts section into place over a company parking lot.
Centre Street is to remain closed tomorrow while the cranes are disassembled and removed. The detour was expected to be removed by 7 a.m. Wednesday, city officials said.
Burton said, "The Baltimore Sun, of course, regrets any inconvenience caused . . . by the temporary detours. In the long run, the skywalk will prove to be a convenience to traffic and Baltimore Sun pedestrians, by serving as a safer access to our building from our garage."