CUMBERLAND — The city announced that a $1.4 million contract has been signed with Braddock Construction LLC of Frostburg to do a complete renovation of Baltimore Avenue, with the project set to begin in the fall.
The announcement was made during the regular meeting of the mayor and city council held Tuesday at City Hall.
City Administrator Jeff Rhodes said approval was received earlier in the day from the Maryland State Highway Administration for the Baltimore Avenue project to proceed.
“It’s going to be a big pro-ject. It’s going to be a major improvement for that corridor into the city,” said Mayor Brian Grim in an interview following the council meeting.
The renovation is expected to include the building of retaining walls, widening of the street, repaving, new utility lines and a American Disabilities Act-ap-proved sidewalk.
Grim said Baltimore Avenue will be in rough shape for awhile.
“During a portion of construction, it’s going to be one way heading from downtown to the college,” said Grim.
Access to the hospital has been a top concern for the city.
“It’s a critical corridor to the hospital,” said Grim.
Rhodes said the city has been working with residents in the neighborhoods around Baltimore Avenue to hear their concerns.
“We have met citizens in the neighborhood to advise and get input from them as a result of the project,” said Grim.
The work was supposed to begin in July but was delayed while additional offers for funding were explored, according to Grim.
The initial underground work of replacing water and gas lines is set to being in the fall.
In other city news, the recipients of $58,525 in funding, acquired through hotel/motel tax revenue, were announced. The funds will be distributed among 16 nonprofit organizations as follows:
• Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, $20,200.
• Allegany Arts Council, $6,375.
• Allegany Museum, $5,750.
• Mountain Maryland Trails, $4,750.
• Cumberland Theatre, $3,730.
• Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament, $3,300.
• Gilchrist Gallery, $2,580.
• New Embassy Theatre, $2,400.
• Bishop Walsh girls basketball tournament, $2,240.
• Allegany County Historical Society, $2,000.
• Allegany County Tourism, $1,500.
• Queen City Performing Arts/Windsor Hall, $1,200.
• Great Allegany Run, $900,
• Mountainside Baroque, $800.
• Miss University City, $450.
• Tri-State Community School for the Arts, $350.
City Councilwoman Nicole Wagoner, who also serves as president of Mountain Maryland Trails, abstained from the vote.
Greg Larry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.