Increase in repaving planned for city streets

April 03, 2008|By John Fritze

Baltimore plans to resurface 200 lane-miles in the city this year -- a slight increase over last year and more than double what was paved in 2006 -- under a goal set by Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration yesterday.

Standing on a newly resurfaced Ashton Street in Southwest Baltimore, transportation officials said portions of Russell Street, Erdman Avenue, Belair Road and other city streets are in line for improvements this year.

"When we invest in our streets and the infrastructure of our city, it really makes a difference in how we perceive our communities," Dixon said. "Improving a street is one of the most visible signs of direct investment that a city can make."

Dixon, who took office last year, has made street paving a priority -- dubbing the city's effort to step up its efforts "Operation Orange Cone." The city is paying for the pavement, in part, with a large increase in borrowing.

Baltimore has roughly 5,000 lane-miles of roads, Dixon said. In 2007, the city's transportation department resurfaced 180 lane miles.

"We accepted the mayor's challenge to operate more efficiently and more effectively as an organization, and we began construction," Alfred H. Foxx, director of the city's Department of Transportation, said of the increase in paving.

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