October 16, 2007

CARDIN, MIKULSKI ANNOUNCE$364,000 IN FEDERAL FUNDING TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY AT FT. MCHENRY

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) announced today that Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Site will receive $364,000 in U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funding to make major improvements to the entrance and parking facilities at Ft. McHenry.

 

More than 80,000 school children and 650,000 tourists visit the park every year.   The current parking situation creates serious safety concerns as school children walk between rows of buses to get into the Park's visitor center.    Pedestrians and tour groups have repeatedly reported near collisions and dangerous conditions when trying to enter the park.

 

"Ft. McHenry is one of our nation's most popular historic sites, and we need to upgrade the parking facilities and entrance to accommodate the large number of visitors that come to the park every year," said Senator Cardin. "This project will help ensure that school groups and tourists can visit in a safe environment."

 

"I am so proud to be from a city with such a rich history and culture as Baltimore.  Fort McHenry is a national treasure.  This funding will help preserve our past for visitors today and tomorrow at this landmark in American history," said Senator Mikulski.  "I will continue to fight to preserve Fort McHenry and Maryland's historical institutions."

 

The project will make much-needed improvements to the two-acre paved parking lot and study the feasibility of building a circular route for transit vehicles to enter the lot from Fort Avenue.    It will involve a new configuration of the road area to create a circular traffic pattern, including paving, curb cut, pavement markings, lighting, signage, trees and plantings.

 

Funding is also provided to study ways to better link Baltimore's popular Inner Harbor location with Ft. McHenry.   The study will focus on using buses or shuttles to move tourists directly from the Inner Harbor to the National Park and back.