Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Department of Transportation Announce Fort Avenue Bridge Open for Commuters
Bridge reconstruction is on schedule and ready for Sailabration festivities and the launch of the Charm City Circulator’s new Banner Route.
BALTIMORE, MD. (June 1, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Department of Transportation Director Khalil Zaied announced that the Fort Avenue Bridge is now open for commuters. Mayor Rawlings-Blake thanked neighborhood small businesses for their patience, and reminded city residents that Fort Avenue is open for business.
Rehabilitation of the Fort Avenue Bridge, which crosses over CSX railroad, began in August of 2011. The $6 million project replaces the decades-old structure and was jointly funded by the City of Baltimore and CSX.
“Fort Avenue is the backbone of Locust Point, and it is our responsibility to ensure that the bridge is safe, secure and reliable for everyone,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “The bridge closure was an inconvenience for residents and businesses, and we are grateful for their patience though the process. I’m very pleased to announce that the bridge is open to traffic and Locust Point small businesses are open. I’d like thank our Department of Transportation for working hard to keep this project on schedule.”
The City of Baltimore was challenged with ensuring that the bridge was opened on schedule in preparation for the Star-Spangled Sailabration festivities. Maryland’s two-year celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 begins on June 13, 2012, and maintaining access to Fort McHenry was critical in festivity planning. Opening of the bridge was also instrumental to the launch of the Charm City Circulator’s new Banner Route, which is scheduled to begin operations on Monday, June 4, 2012. The Banner Route will provide free shuttle service from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry, with direct connections to the Orange and Purple Routes.
“I’m incredibly thankful for the expeditious work performed by construction crews and Transportation personnel in order to have the bridge ready as quickly as possible,” said Department of Transportation Director Khalil Zaied. “I want to thank the residents and businesses of the Locust Point community for their patience and cooperation during construction.”
At this time, one lane of traffic is now open in each direction along the Fort Avenue Bridge. Construction work is still being conducted along the bridge, and lane closures are required. Construction will continue behind work zone delineation devices, and lane closures may be implemented at times with a flagging operation to direct vehicles across the structure. The flow of two way vehicular traffic will not be impeded during the 1812 Sailabration festivities through June 19, 2012.
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All schedules and activities are working toward the Fort Avenue Bridge and roadway being open to two way traffic on or around June 1, 2012; weather and unforeseen conditions permitting. Please understand that all the bridge contract work will NOT be complete at this time but once the bridge opens a full closure of the bridge or roadway will not be permitted but lane closures will be required to complete the work. The lane closures will be implemented with a flagging operation or the like. The construction will continue to take place behind work zone delineation devices; however, please note that the flow of the two way vehicular traffic or pedestrian traffic will not be impeded during the 1812 Sailabration festivities through June 19, 2012.
Thank you all for your support, cooperation, and patience as we continue to work towards completing a safe and improved bridge. Please check back for more updates and plans for the final opening!
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