Pardon the inconvenience—for just a little while longer.
The $28 million Charles Street construction project, aimed at improving pedestrian and cyclist safety along the major artery near the Homewood campus, is proceeding on schedule and is likely to be completed by late October 2014.
With the project now in its third phase, pedestrians will soon notice printed banners near 33rd Street that will show a final design schematic of the streetscape from 29th Street to University Parkway, says Greg Smith, associate director for parking and transportation in the university's Office of Facilities and Real Estate.
The completed design will include an artwork plaza in front of Charles Commons, located between 33rd and 34th streets; significant landscaping along a central median that will divide the northbound and southbound lanes; and improved crosswalks intended to be safer and more aesthetically pleasing.
The project's next major milestone is the paving of Charles Street between Art Museum Drive and 33rd Street, says Michael Sullivan, project manager for Johns Hopkins. Traffic will then shift to the new roadway, and work will begin in the center portion of Charles south of 33rd Street. In December, the crosswalk at 34th Street and the west sidewalk between 33rd Street and University Parkway were reopened. Vehicular traffic, now restricted in the area, will likely resume on a limited basis this spring after completion of the ellipse at 34th Street, Sullivan says.
Sullivan notes that the city and the contractor for the project have been receptive to requests to maintain pedestrian access to vendors and housing during the project.
The Charles Street construction project, which began in spring 2012, is led by the Baltimore City Department of Transportation and financed in part by a $2.5 million contribution from Johns Hopkins University. In addition to improving pedestrian and cyclist safety, the project aims to update the area's traffic patterns, aging infrastructure, aesthetics, and signage.
For more information on the project, go to http://fm.jhu.edu/charlesstreetconstruction.