City is limiting use of steel road-plates

May 28, 2006|By JOHN FRITZE

The number of steel road-plates covering construction sites -- and adding to a jarring drive in Baltimore -- has been cut in half to about 100 after a recent crackdown, a city Department of Public Works official said.

In 2001, the city began tracking the steel plates, used to temporarily cover work on underground utility conduits, and started pressing contractors to remove them within 30 days. Contractors that do not report installation of plates face $50-a-day fines.

Plates are used to cover sites during rush hours, according to the DPW, so that crews can quickly return to work during times of less busy traffic. Two years ago, the city received 418 complaints about the tire-trying covers, but it expects that number to drop to 65 this year.

"In the past, there was this attitude that you could just leave them," said DPW spokeswoman Kurt L. Kocher. "[Now] we just really go after them and say, `Get them up.'"

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