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November 15, 2011

Broening Highway to get much-needed repaving

Broening Highway in Southeast Baltimore, easily one of the metropolitan region's most beat-up roads, is about to get a much-needed repaving.

Jamie Kendrick, deputy director of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, said Monday that the city will put the estimated $16 million project out to bid in about two weeks. He said work on the project is expected to begin in early February.

Broening Highway runs alongside the Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals and as a result in heavily used by tractor-trailers. The highway is vital to the operations of the Port of Baltimore, and the Maryland Department of Transportation is kicking in $5 million toward the repaving, Kendrick said.

Getting There raised the question with the city after Richard Lessans, CEO of Baltimore-based Commerce Corp., raised the question of the highway's condition in an email 

"It is frustrating to see the condition of Broening Highway, the main conduit to the port. From Holabird Ave. to the second port entrance, the road is uneven, full of potholes and has deep ruts in it," Lessans wrote. 


The primarily asphalt surface will be replaced by more durable concrete, Kendrick said. The new surface won't be as thick as an airport runway. he said, but it will be thicker than the average road to stand up to the truck traffic.

"It's not your typical repaving," Kendrick said, adding that the new surface should last for 20 years or more.

The work will take about two years to complete, he said. While the work is be done on Broening, Kendrick added, the city will also repave Dundalk Avenue from the city line to Eastern Avenue so that truck drivers have no incentive to switch to the more residential route to avoid delays.

Posted by Michael Dresser at 5:24 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: On the roads


Glad to hear that the city is doing this one the "right way", by not simply laying asphalt after milling off a layer of the existing surface, which is the typical M.O. in this country due to thinking that favors short term up front "savings" over long term investments. It is always a bummer to drive on newly-repaved roads that were done using the "mill and resurface" method, as they buckle and crack within a year of being repaved when the old cracks and joints invariably reflect through the new asphalt after the first freeze-thaw cycle or 100 degree day. (Think, Russell Street...)

It is about time. Long over due

Concrete paving is definitely under-utilized in some states. When agencies consider the real costs of pavements over reasonable time spans like 50 years, concrete offers measurable savings and provides true sustainable development. Often times, transportation agencies place a higher value on maintaining through traffic and pay dearly for the cost of that maintenance while repaving with a quick fix. When, a longer term lane closure with a longer term pavement choice would really cost everyone less!

That article about Gunther Trucking Company was well Over due. I said this because I use to work for them for a short time till I quit for the same reason that they are being shut down now. Equipment not safe, drivers forced to drive out of legal hours to drive. I can drive at ease that Gunthers Trucking Company is off the road till they meet the all the regulation of the motor coach

Imagine if we always took the long vew on paving projects. Right now the roads in Maryland are amoung the worst in the nation at the same time we don't have the revenues to make needed repairs. If we would jus do things right the first time, imagine how much more productive we could be.

City road conditions are certainly horrible. But when they finally get around to repaving (for example Harford Rd from North Ave to Chesterfield) they really screw up the job. They take a year to redo curbs, mill and repave the roads, and add badly misplaced temporary lane markers. The road then sits for a month with the confusing lane markers. Then they close lanes of the road to dig up each intersection to add decorative brick crosswalks, the likes of which aren't even seen in the best of neighborhoods. Meanwhile we're still waiting for permanent and accurate lane markings.

I am also glad to see that Broening Highway is getting fixed . I used to go in and out of the ports and thought is bad business for The D.O.T to set up inspection inside the gate of the port . Just going down Broening ,you could have a light get knocked on your truck ,or even a broken spring . Its about time .

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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