Construction Underway to Remove Berms and Expand Sidewalk on Pratt Street

| September 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore (DPOB) has begun construction to remove another berm from a Pratt St. sidewalk. This $150,000-project is taking place on the north side of the 400 block of E. Pratt St. in front of The Gallery on Pratt Street and Renaissance Harborplace Hotel.

The berm removals are fulfilling a vision of the 2008 Pratt Street Development Plan to expand sidewalks and create better visibility for retail along the street. DPOB President Kirby Fowler told SouthBMore.com he did not have an exact idea as to why the berms had been in place, but noted in the 1970s and 1980s that Pratt St. was viewed more as a connector between highways on the east and west side of the city and it was “more about medians and highways than the pedestrian experience.” He said, “We need to embrace this as an urban center with lots of people and not a place we move cars quickly.”

Berms have already been removed on four blocks of Pratt St. adjacent to the west of the 400 block, and on two blocks adjacent to the east. The berms have been replaced with bioretention systems and new sod and landscaping. A new plaza was also built in front of the office building at 250 W. Pratt St. This replaced berms during the construction process.

Fowler said the one remaining block to tackle is in front of the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards that fronts the 400 block of W. Pratt St.

The current project on the 400 block of E. Pratt St. will replace the berms with a large sidewalk and a new strip of sod with trees. Each tree that is being removed will be replaced with a new tree in the sod. Fowler said the project also involves the removal of some minor utilities.

DPOB is funding the project with its own private funds. It is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

Last year, DPOB replaced a curb bump-out on the same north side of the 400 block of E. Pratt St. This reduced traffic from three lanes to two lanes on just this block, while moving back to three lanes on the 500 block of E. Pratt St.

Catty-corner to the 400 block of E. Pratt St. is McKeldin Square, which is currently undergoing a second phase of improvements that will add a water feature to the park. DPOB is also leading this project.

Screenshots of the 400 block of E. Pratt St. from Google Maps

Current photo courtesy of Downtown Partnership of Baltimore 

Before and After Screenshots of the 300 block of E. Pratt St. from Google Maps

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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
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