Middle River manhole leak irks lot users

WATCHDOG

February 27, 2007

THE PROBLEM -- For about three years, workers at the Pulaski Industrial Park in Middle River say water has leaked from a manhole near Kelso Drive and Citation Road, creating hazardous conditions for commuters.

THE BACKSTORY -- Dave Watson of MW Industries - where precision springs are made -says that a month ago he was driving to work and tried to park his car, only to have it slide backward. He and other co-workers said they have repeatedly contacted authorities and were told that the problem was due to a faulty valve and was on a list to be fixed.

Watson points out that many people use a nearby district courthouse park in the industrial park's lot and have to navigate around the spilling water. Watchdog visited on a cold day recently and spotted a thick sheet of ice coating about 30 feet of roadway.

Bryan Samuels of the Baltimore City Department of Public Works said the department received calls. He said workers determined the problem to be groundwater, not a water main break, and that puts the responsibility on the property owner.

Samuels did say that when snow and ice melt, he would send crews to inspect the area.

Watson said he was surprised. "I think it's odd that it does it in that one place and not somewhere else," he said.

WHO CAN FIX THIS -- Public Works officials say the owner of the industrial park must fix the problem. The owner, according to the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation, is Kimco Realty Corp. Calls to the company's regional office in Lutherville were not returned. The number to the office is 410-684-2000.

Nick Shields

UPDATE

A sign hanging from a construction fence

A sign hanging from a construction fence at the site of the new Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel, which seemed to encourage motorists to turn against one-way traffic on Pratt Street, has been removed.

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