Around The Region

AROUND THE REGION

November 12, 2008

Baltimore Harbor Tunnel ceiling damaged by truck

Two hours after a tractor-trailer entered the northbound Baltimore Harbor Tunnel early yesterday afternoon and scraped the tunnel's roof, causing numerous tiles to loosen or fall to the roadway, traffic that was backed up for miles returned to normal, said a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the agency in charge of the tunnel. Cpl. Jonathan Green, the spokesman, said state highway administration work crews quickly removed the tiles and inspected the damage and declared the tunnel safe about 6:15 p.m., two hours after the rig scraped the tunnel ceiling. Traffic that was backed up for several miles was forced to take the Shell Road immediately after the toll plaza and follow detours onto northbound Interstate 95 and Interstate 695 while crews cleaned up the debris and inspected the tunnel's roof, Green said. He said the driver of a tractor-trailer passed through the northbound toll plaza about 4:15 p.m., and his rig was halfway through the tunnel when its top scraped the tunnel ceiling. Green said the rig was higher than the 13-foot, 6-inch clearance. Green said no other vehicles were involved and that some drivers called police. He said police officers were given a description of the rig and pulled it over on U.S. 40 near Chesaco Avenue in Rosedale, a few miles from the tunnel. Green said the driver, whose name was not released, was charged with failure to obey over-height regulations, operating a vehicle exceeding height limitations and failing to seek a permit to operate an over-height vehicle.

Richard Irwin

Mayor Dixon rededicates refurbished vets' memorial

Standing in a West Baltimore neighborhood beset by gang violence, Mayor Sheila Dixon rededicated a newly refurbished memorial to World War II veterans yesterday. "Generation after generation, Americans have put on the uniform of our armed forces and risked their lives in defense of our nation," Dixon said. "We restate our appreciation and the sacrifices of those brave individuals." Samuel Snowden, a city employee who worked on the project, recalled that when he proposed refurbishing the memorial at the three-way intersection of Poplar Grove Street, Bloomingdale Road and Ellicott Drive a year ago, the mayor responded with a handwritten note urging him to move forward. He said he hopes the community bonds that formed as the project moved forward will continue to grow.

Construction to close lane on Hatem Bridge

The westbound lane of the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge between Havre de Grace and Perryville will be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. tomorrow and Friday, officials said. One lane in each direction of the 1.5-mile span across the Susquehanna River will remain open for the morning rush hour. The closing will allow construction crews to move barrier walls as part of the $56 million bridge restoration project, which began in June. Plans call for replacing the entire deck of the 70-year-old bridge, installing a concrete median and repairing the concrete substructure by early 2012. Signs will direct westbound motorists along a detour to Interstate 95 and ultimately, bring traffic back to westbound U.S. 40. Information: 888-MDTA-411.

Mary Gail Hare

Balto. Co. police to hold fun run Saturday

The Baltimore County Police Department will hold a benefit Family Fun Run on Saturday. Registration for the combination road and trail run will open at 7:30 a.m. with the race at 9 a.m. through developed areas of the new Baltimore Crossroads@95 business community in White Marsh and over undeveloped terrain. A family-oriented 1-mile walk/run also will be held. The entry fee is $35, $15 for children younger than 13 and $10 for active military and veterans. Information: 410-308-1870.

Church to dedicate new pipe organ Saturday

Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church will dedicate its new Schantz pipe organ at 6 p.m. Saturday at the church, 8501 Loch Raven Blvd., Towson. Information: 410-668-0097.

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