Baltimore County News
Completes important connection between Owings Mills and Liberty Road Corridor
Dozens of cheering community leaders from the Randallstown and Owings Mills areas came out this morning to help Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz cut a ribbon to officially open the final stretch of Owings Mills Boulevard, completing a much-anticipated link between these residential and business communities.
This new 1.2 mile roadway connects Winands Road to Liberty Road (Route 26), joining existing portions of the boulevard to form a continuous 3.8-mile route from Reisterstown Road to Liberty Road and connecting two centers of development.
“Completing Owings Mills Boulevard not only promotes economic prosperity, but will ease local traffic congestion and diminish cut-through traffic,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “This is a major infrastructure investment for our community.”
About the new roadway
Construction for the $13 million dollar construction project began in the fall of 2013 and has been part of the County’s Master Plan since the County purchased the land for highway construction in the 1980s. The landscaped roadway is four lanes, has a raised median and features sidewalks on both sides – one designated for both pedestrians and bicycles. The retaining walls feature an attractive faux-stone finish.
The Department of Public Works worked closely with area residents and businesses to ensure that the construction would have the least impact possible. Construction was scheduled to take into account residential and customer parking needs and the County accommodated businesses along Liberty Road, as well as businesses and residents of Kings Park Estates and Woodridge with landscaping, lights, signs and new paving.
“This final section of Owings Mills Boulevard opens up a major artery and will relieve traffic by keeping drivers from zig-zagging through side streets to get where they need to go,” said 4th District Councilman Julian Jones.
$30 million in roadway investments for Randallstown
The newly completed $13 million route is part of Baltimore County’s $30 million investment in the Randallstown growth area since 2008. In addition to this important roadway extension, transportation infrastructure in this area has been enhanced with the previous extension of Owings Mills Boulevard from Lyons Mill Road to Winands Road (completed in 2012), and the widening of Lyons Mill Road between Owings Mills Boulevard and Marriottsville Road (completed in 2012).
Small Watershed Action Plan Meeting on May 13
Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) encourages people from communities within the Upper Patapsco River watershed to participate in an upcoming public meeting on the evening of Friday, May 13 to discuss ways to protect the Upper Patapsco River watershed. This watershed includes portions of Randallstown, Woodstock and Windsor Mill.
This is the first of two public meetings regarding the creation of the Upper Patapsco River Small Watershed Action Plan, or SWAP. It offers a chance for communities to get involved and learn about the history and project to date, and most importantly, provide suggestions about their vision and priorities for the watershed. The purpose of the SWAP is to collaboratively form a Vision Statement and Goals document with the public and identify goals and objectives to improve natural areas in the watershed.
Baltimore County stresses the importance of public participation in creating the Vision Statement for the SWAP. The SWAP process helps build on the philosophy that citizen involvement and feedback is critical when it comes to reaching environmental goals that benefit our communities in a well-rounded fashion.
The May 13 community meeting will take place at the Randallstown Community Center (3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, MD 21133) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
For more information on Baltimore County’s Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs), please visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/environment/watersheds/index.html
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability is responsible for the protection of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Baltimore County. This is accomplished through programs that manage and enhance natural and man-made resources, and that provide environmental guidelines to our constituents.
Background of Small Watershed Action Plans in Maryland
In the late 1990s, national stormwater permits required major counties in Maryland to reduce pollution from roads and neighborhoods that drain to local streams. Counties began monitoring programs and prepared watershed plans to identify projects and programs that could reduce pollution from these non-point sources. Many projects were completed and reductions tallied in annual reports. Much progress was made, however additional reductions are needed to have clean water that meets water quality standards.
To reach these additional reductions, Baltimore County is developing Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) to focus on communities as smaller groups and to identify specific solutions that are tailored to local areas. They are used by Baltimore County in conjunction with citizen groups to implement actions that create and maintain healthy watersheds.
Northwest Hospital’s new $5 million Liberty Center medical facility launches a multi-phase development plan that will expand the hospital’s Randallstown campus. Plans include additional buildings with an integrated design, landscaping and art features to unify and revitalize the campus. Liberty Center, with its prominent location at the intersection of Liberty and Old Court Roads, will serve as the gateway to the Northwest Hospital campus.
“As the corridor’s largest employer, Northwest Hospital is the institutional anchor of the Liberty Road communities. LifeBridge Health continues to make significant investments that bring jobs and contribute to the economic vitality of Randallstown and the entire County,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We are especially pleased that their commitment goes well beyond economic health. LifeBridge extends its medical mission to community partnerships and engagement that improve the quality of life for thousands of County residents each year.”
“The new Liberty Center is a shining example of Northwest Hospital’s ongoing redevelopment in Randallstown and our continued commitment to addressing the needs of the communities we serve,” said Brian White, president of Northwest Hospital and senior vice president of LifeBridge Health.
Liberty Center and ExpressCare
LifeBridge Health, the parent company of Northwest Hospital, invested more than $5 million to redevelop and expand the Liberty Center building, growing the available space from 8,000 to 13,800 square feet to accommodate new medical offices. An upgrade to the façade matches other facilities on the Northwest campus and the designs in the revitalization plan.
ExpressCare, a LifeBridge Health partner, will anchor the building on the first floor with a 4,600 square foot urgent care center. This ExpressCare location will open on February 29 with eight exam rooms offering patient care seven days a week with an on-site X-ray machine and laboratory for some basic tests. A pediatrician’s office will occupy the second floor of the building. Plans for the third floor are still in development.
More Investment Coming to Liberty Road Communities
Following the opening of the Liberty Center, the Northwest Hospital campus revitalization plans shift to facilities on Old Court Road, across the street from the hospital itself. These new and redeveloped buildings may include doctors’ offices and outpatient medical services along with potential office space for administrative departments. Plans and timelines for this next phase are still in development. The new projects complement improvements already underway inside the hospital itself, such as upgrades to the emergency department and the operating rooms.
“Northwest Hospital is taking a comprehensive approach to modernizing facilities to meet the needs of a changing health care system. The result will be more streamlined, convenient health and wellness services on a landscaped campus that revitalizes aging buildings and brings jobs to the Liberty Road communities,” added County Executive Kamenetz.