Baltimore Co. might buy land to build Heritage Trail into city

Plan would also extend Center place to reach Broening Highway

December 14, 2010|By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

The proposed purchase of a 3.1-acre parcel near the Baltimore city-county line would help the county move its plans forward for an estimated $3.3 million Heritage Trail from Dundalk to the Baltimore waterfront.

The County Council is expected to vote at its legislative session Monday on a $1 million contract to buy the land at the intersection of Riverview and Ralls avenues in the city. James G. Robinson, the property owner, has accepted the county's offer for the land, now used as a truck depot and temporary parking for tractor trailers.

Settlement on what would be the final acquisition for the trail is expected in late summer. The county has already spent about $1.1 million on the project.

The mile-long trail and surrounding park, which has no set start or completion date, would provide an east-west line connecting the center of historic Dundalk through the city to Colgate Creek. The project, which was first conceived at a 2001 community planning session, calls for displaying pieces of industrial art and machinery along the route to highlight Dundalk's contributions to the shipbuilding and steelmaking that once dominated local commerce. The area grew along with the industries that flourished at Sparrows Point.

Another goal of the project is to provide a traffic connection from the commercial center of Old Dundalk to the Dundalk waterfront and Baltimore City by extending Center Place to reach Broening Highway, said Ellen Kobler, county spokeswoman.

In addition to the road improvements to Center Place and Broening Highway, the park will include a hiking and biking trail and parking.

If the council approves the sale, officials will move forward with a groundbreaking and construction schedule.

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