Photo Tour of the Nearly-Completed Reconstruction of the Key Highway and Light Street Intersection

| December 20, 2019 | 0 Comments

Baltimore City Department of Transportation’s (DOT) reconstruction of the Key Hwy. and Light St. intersection is nearly complete and is now being used by cars and pedestrians. The project started in January 2018 and will be 99% complete by the end of December, according to DOT Public Relations Officer Kathy Dominick.

District 11 Councilman Eric Costello told SouthBMore.com in an email, “DOT will be having a “Semi Final Inspection” in January at which time they will create a “Punch List” but at this moment we need to remove some old signal poles at Light/Hughes/Key and some small masonry things over at the sidewalk in front of the shopping center.”

He added, “In addition to the above from DOT, I am working with them on getting some railings installed around the bio-retention area in front of Christ Church Harbor Apartments. That is an accident waiting to happen for our seniors. No determination has been made on this request yet.”

In 2012, a traffic circle was proposed for the intersection but the project became too large and expensive, and presented concerns regarding pedestrian safety, according to City officials. It was scrapped and the project went in a different direction. “They are able to use the same amount of money to make improvements from Conway all the way to Covington, as opposed to just that one intersection,” former Councilman William Cole told SouthBMore.com in 2013.

Rendering from the previous plan

Project engineers also said at a public meeting in October 2017 that a traffic circle would be a safety concern for blind pedestrians in the area.

The new plan, which was first presented in 2013 and has since undergone some changes, does away with the traffic circle and adds several new medians, green spaces, traffic lights, and curb bump-outs. The project specifications are listed as:

  • Full Depth Roadway Reconstruction with Complete Rail Track Removal
  • Concrete Roadway Repairs
  • Installation of New Traffic Signals – Key Highway @ Light Street, Key Highway @ William Street; Key Highway @ Covington Street – ACPS/CPS Crosswalk Revision
  • New Signing and Pavement Markings
  • Storm Drain Improvements, Stormwater Management
  • Increase to the Capacity of Existing Conduit System
  • Replacement of Water Line
  • Median Installation along Key Highway from Battery Avenue to Covington Street
  • Removal of Existing Berm between Key Highway and Rash Field (Battery Avenue to Covington Street/Rusty Scupper)
  • Gwynns Falls Trail Extension
  • Landscaping, Sidewalk & ADA Upgrades, Gwynns Falls Trail Extension

A southbound lane of Light St. has been eliminated between Lee St. and Key Hwy. with a sidewalk extension. Cars traveling southbound into Federal Hill on Light St. now have a separate lane which is divided by a new median. There continues to be a traffic signal at southbound Light St. and Key Hwy. to protect pedestrians. This stretch also has a new bike lane.

An existing median at Hughes St., Key Hwy., and Light St. was expanded, eliminating a small stretch of Hughes St. that connects to Light St. This median has a new walkway.

New curb bump-outs surround the off-street parking along the south side of Key Hwy. Many new trees and plants were added along sidewalks and medians.

STV is the designer of the project, and Manuel Luis Construction Company, Inc. was rewarded the $6,325,113.50 contract from DOT.

Redevelopment of the adjacent Rash Field is expected to begin in January 2020.

Screenshots from Google Maps of the previous intersection 

 

Picture of project renderings from an STV poster

Light St. and Key Hwy. intersection 

New light at William St. and Key Hwy. 

New bioretention in front of Christ Church Harbor Apartments on the 600 block of Light St. 

New streetscaping, medians, and bioretention around the shopping center on the 200 block of Key Hwy.

New median on Key Hwy. between Federal Hill Park and Rash Field 

Gwynns Falls Trail extension in front of Rash Field

An existing bike path section on the 600 block of Light St. was repaired as tree roots had disrupted the surface. 

About the Author:

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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