Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 24, 2013

Underpass traffic to increase

With Baltimore Street rail crossing closing for resurfacing, officials working on plan to clean underground passage

CUMBERLAND — With the city announcing that the railroad crossing at Baltimore Street and Queen City Drive will be closed for six weeks beginning Monday to allow CSX to resurface the intersection, use of the pedestrian underpass is likely to increase.

However, the issue of cleaning the underpass still remains unresolved.

“We are waiting for details at this point,” said Mayor Brian Grim.

The city is hoping that an agreement with CSX can be struck that will share the cost of hiring a third party contractor to establish a cleaning schedule for the tunnel passage.

The underpass has been plagued by trash, bottles, graffiti and loitering for years with no firm deal in place to maintain the pedestrian passage.

A pedestrian referred to the underpass as “dispicable” when he attempted to use it over the summer.

“I would expect increased use of the underpass during the resurfacing,” said Grim.

While many wait for a cleaner underpass, some feel it should not be shut down.

“I think it is imperative that we keep it open. Closing it is not the solution,” said Ed Mullaney, downtown manager.

Mullaney feels that the city has allowed CSX to close too many crossings as is.

“There are people getting community service for crossing at unsafe places. I’d like to see the Harrison Street crossing reopened,” said Mullaney.

The underpass allows the neighborhoods to be more easily connected, according to Mullaney.

The city met with CSX to discuss the resurfacing project and decided to contribute around $37,000 to ensure a high quality project.

“That crossing is widely used for automobile and pedestrian traffic. We wanted it to be a smooth crossing,” said Jeff Rhodes, city administrator.

Rhodes said he has been working with Jason Bishop of CSX on the project. Rhodes believes that CSX will use more concrete in the resurfacing as opposed to simply using railroad ties.

“We want a grade A crossing,” said Rhodes.

During the resurfacing, the city said that detour routes will be at Knox Street for westbound travelers on Queen City Drive; westbound travelers on Henderson Avenue or Queen City Drive can use Interstate 68.

Pedestrians can use the underpass while handicapped travelers may use the John J. McMullen Bridge.

“We hope that users of the underpass will respect it and use the trash cans in place at either end during the resurfacing,” said Grim.

The city hopes that CSX will return the favor of helping with the cost of the resurfacing and join in with a cleaning schedule for the underpass in the future.

Video cameras monitor the underpass for the city, but no janitorial responsibilities are completed on any regular schedule.

“We need to have a open, clean and safe underpass,” said Mullaney.

Greg Larry can be contacted at

Text Only
Local News
  • W.Va. legislative candidates gearing up for election

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — Five area candidates will be vying for legislative seats in this year’s election.

    April 20, 2014

  •  Easter grass Easter grass

    Kamryn Rice, 7, of Flintstone, finds and bags a plastic egg during Cumberland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday afternoon at Constitution Park. Hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, along with students from Frostburg State University’s Recreation and Parks Management program and the 4-H Youth of Allegany County, the afternoon also included games, relay races, face painting, temporary tattoos, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo sponsored by the 4-H Hare Raiser Club, as well as a visit from the Easter Bunny. The eggs contained candy and other treats.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Business community wary of minimum wage increases

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County businesses are certain to be impacted by the increase in Maryland’s minimum wage, set to reach $10.10 an hour by July 2018 under a law championed by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

    April 20, 2014

  • Tipped workers left behind in pay hike action

    ANNAPOLIS — Many minimum wage workers will be getting a raise now that a hike to Maryland’s wage has been signed into law. But while advocates are ascribing the increase as a win, there’s a bitter aftertaste for one group that was left behind.

    April 20, 2014

  • Views vary among Americans when it comes to hourly rate

    CUMBERLAND — Even among those who have worked minimum wage jobs, views on the minimum wage can differ.
    “Minimum wage has to exist. There is no question there, so whatever it is, it will be called ‘minimum wage’. But it should not be below a living wage,” said Bonita Quick of Cumberland.

    April 20, 2014

  • Income guideline change will increase WIC recipients

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Raised income eligibility guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children will increase the number of those served in West Virginia by about 10 percent, according to the state health officer.

    April 20, 2014

  • Absentee ballots moving online causes security concerns

    ANNAPOLIS — Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

    April 20, 2014

  • Allegany County emergency medical services honorees and supporters Allegany, Garrett emergency responders honored

    MCHENRY — The 75 people from Allegany and Garrett counties who were involved with two exceptional emergency medical services calls in 2013 were presented with awards at the recent Night for Stars program held at the Wisp Resort.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lexis Trickett meets with Gov. Martin O’Malley Ninth-grader among 30 at inaugural event

    OAKLAND — Lexis Trickett, a ninth-grade student at Southern Garrett High School, was among 30 girls who attended Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Leadership Forum for Women and Girls recently in Annapolis in celebration of Women’s History Month.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • School immunization requirements change

    CUMBERLAND — Changes to school immunization requirements by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene affect students entering kindergarten and seventh grade for the next school year.

    April 20, 2014

Must Read
News related video
Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Crowds Rally at '420' Celebration in Denver Marathoners Celebrate Easter With Tradition Raw: Obamas Attend Easter Service Raw: Easter Morning Delivery for Space Station Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case