Charles Street closure nears, a decade after redesign proposed

Project will not be completed until early 2014, city's Transportation Department says

January 26, 2012|By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun

After more than a decade of planning, Charles Village and the Johns Hopkins University are preparing for two years of traffic disruptions along North Charles Street.

The stretch between 25th Street and University Parkway has been slated for repaving and redesign since 2002. Utility updates along the corridor are nearing completion, and the city expects to begin the street's reconstruction this spring.

About 2,000 feet of North Charles, between 25th and 29th streets, will be resurfaced. Roughly 3,300 feet of Charles Street, from 29th Street to University Parkway, is to undergo a complete overhaul: The street will be torn up and relaid, curbs and sidewalks will be replaced, improved street and pedestrian lighting will be erected, and landscaping will be redesigned, including at least one new public art project.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. has had workers along the route for the past six months preparing utility lines for the project's second phase, said Adrienne Barnes, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation.

Although a start date for the second phase has not been set, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said Thursday that she has been working with transportation officials to ease parking problems that could arise from the construction, including examining whether St. Paul Street should be open to parking during rush hours.

Although the number of residential parking permits will remain the same, some pay-to-park spaces will be eliminated during construction. After a construction timeline is created, parking restrictions will be established.

While reconstruction takes place north of 29th Street, southbound traffic will be rerouted down University Parkway to St. Paul Street. Northbound traffic will be diverted to North Calvert Street.

The renovations are scheduled to be complete by early 2014. According to city records from October, the project's budget is capped at $25 million, most of which will come from federal funds. The city and Hopkins each plan to contribute 10 percent of the cost.

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