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Keyword: infrastructure

Baltimore County has been awarded a $20 million federal grant for infrastructure improvements and expansion of aging marine facilities at Tradepoint Atlantic. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will be matched by private investment from Tradepoint Atlantic, developer of 3,100 acres at Sparrows Point.

“This public/private infrastructure investment will ignite job creation in Baltimore County and the entire region by speeding up the turnaround of Sparrows Point from a shuttered steelmaking site into a modern hub for global commerce,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

With funding from the TIGER grant, Tradepoint Atlantic will make structural upgrades to the East-West Berth, modernize it for efficient movement of 21st century cargo, strengthen bulkheads, perform maintenance dredging to allow deep water ships access to the marine terminal, and other necessary improvements designed to leverage existing rail and highway systems on the site.

The investments in dredging, a stronger berth, and short line rail track will facilitate efficient and safe loading and unloading, reducing handling costs for shippers using the facility.

“By partnering with Baltimore County to secure this federal grant for infrastructure investment, we can continue our commitment to creating a first-class facility dedicated to increasing long term job creation in the Baltimore region and lowering prices of American export and import consumer goods,” said Aaron Tomarchio, a Senior Vice President at Tradepoint Atlantic.

The project will expand the region’s bulk handling capability by restoring an obsolete regional marine asset to a state of good repair. The modernization program expands bulk cargo handling capability at Tradepoint Atlantic and does not introduce container cargo handling to the site.

The grant projects will span four years. The TIGER grant is led by the Baltimore County Department of Economic and Workforce Development.

“With this federal transportation grant, Baltimore County continues to proactively put key pieces in place to support development of Tradepoint Atlantic,” said Kamenetz. Baltimore County initiated creation of the Chesapeake Enterprise Zone and established a foreign trade zone to facilitate global commerce.

Economic and Jobs Impact

A recent economic impact report projects Tradepoint Atlantic will generate 17,000 jobs in the Baltimore region, plus another 21,000 jobs during construction. Economic impact is projected to top $3 billion when development of the 3,100 acre site is completed in 2025, according to the Sage Policy Group study.

“There are more than 17,000 jobs on the horizon at full development, but jobs already are coming back to Sparrows Point from world class companies including FedEx Ground, Amazon and Under Armour,” added Kamenetz.

By Steve Walsh, Director, Baltimore County Department of Public Works

Keeping safe and healthy means fighting for clean air and water and serving as good stewards of our land. With 200 miles of waterfront and 2,000 miles of streams and tributaries in Baltimore County, we consider protection of the environment a sacred trust.

When you are a diverse county of more than 831,000 people in a region of over 2.8 million residents, the balance between thoughtful development and preserving environmental resources is one of the major responsibilities of government. We take this responsibility very seriously in Baltimore County.

It’s not just a local issue. Across the country, infrastructure that was built in the 1950s is strained. Water and sewer pipes that were installed decades ago are literally bursting at the seams, increasing the number of water main breaks and waste overflows.

To put the scale of the issue into local perspective, there are 3,160 miles of sewer lines plus 2,139 miles of water lines in Baltimore County alone. Sixty percent of the County's water and sewer pipes are more than 50 years old, which is the average life span of a water and sewer pipe. More than half of all the County's pipes were installed before 1970, with the greatest percentage installed in the 1950s.

We could sit and wait for a major environmental disaster. But, Baltimore County is moving forward, modernizing our crumbling infrastructure with an historic $1.6 billion investment in water and sewer system upgrades.

“These ongoing improvements must be made to protect our citizens, now and for the next generation. As a responsible government, we must bite the bullet now and not kick the can down the road," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.     

In 2005, Baltimore County entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Maryland Department of the Environment to address these pressing needs. Baltimore County has invested over a billion dollars in water and sewer infrastructure, inspecting hundreds of miles of pipe, rebuilding pumping stations, replacing old lines and monitoring the system. Traditional overflow points have been sealed. Replacement lines have been built to accommodate increased capacity. Sanitary overflows are turning the corner with reductions in annual incidents. All of the County’s major pumping stations have been rebuilt and modernized. The County is on schedule to meet its consent decree obligations and is in good standing.

The County implements a rigorous preventive schedule for inspecting, cleaning and monitoring our entire water and sewer system. When a new development is proposed, we carefully evaluate our capacity to be sure we do not overload the system.  

Every community should expect - and deserves - clean water and safe sewer systems. Infrastructure is a shared benefit. Responsible stewardship of our environmental resources is a shared responsibility.  

Detour routes will be posted through nearby Crondall Lane

The Department of Public Works will close a portion of Gwynnbrook Avenue, between Owings Mills Boulevard and Garrison Forest Road, on Wednesday, December 21, due to structural concerns related to a bridge over a tributary to Gwynns Falls. A detour route will be posted and traffic will be channeled through nearby Crondall Lane. Baltimore County’s traffic engineers have adjusted traffic signal timing to accommodate the new traffic pattern, but some congestion should be anticipated at the Crondall Lane intersections with Owings Mills Boulevard and Garrison Forest Road.

This emergency bridge closure follows several recent inspections of the twenty-three foot long span.  The concrete-slab structure – built in 1920, widened in the 1950’s and carrying about 7,000 cars daily – has been declining in recent years. Last year Baltimore County’s two-year bridge inspection cycle was accelerated and the bridge was monitored every three months.

Public Works engineers will be finalizing the design plans and final schedule, pending state approval of a right of way agreement. All options are being considered to minimize impact to the travelling public. 

Revised September 11, 2017