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Next steps for 'Aberdeen Station Square' to be discussed Monday

BY BRYNA ZUMER, Record staff

4:48 PM EDT, August 1, 2012

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The next step in the plan to revitalize Aberdeen's train station area - titled Aberdeen Station Square - will be announced Monday before the city's regular council meeting.

All who are interested are invited to city hall from 4 to 6:30 p.m., when state representatives will present the plan for a new underpass for Route 40.

Maryland Department of Transportation officials will discuss the pre-engineering phase and feasibility of constructing the underpass, Aberdeen planning and community development director Phyllis Grover said Wednesday.

In October, the Maryland Department of Transportation said it hoped to build a stepped, amphitheater-type area to serve as a crossing between Bel Air Avenue and the station instead of the current, gritty-looking walkway.

The presentation will show refined plans for east and west entrances, pedestrian undercrossing and a station area "to recast the station as Aberdeen's unique community and transportation asset," according to the MDOT flier.

Other goals from October included ultimately having a "greenway" network with a tree-lined boulevard and park space and greater activity around the Festival Park area.

It also featured three major land-use "squares" where development would be targeted: the station square east of Route 40, with park and commercial uses; the festival square around Festival Park, with civic mixed use and commercial uses; and the residential square south of West Bel Air Avenue, with largely residential and some park and commercial use.

"I think it's going to be the next steps, so the purpose of this workshop is the state received a grant through the Chesapeake Science and Technology Corridor and following up on the October workshop," Grover said about Monday's meeting.

The presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the council from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., before the council's regular meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Grover said she has already received plenty of resident feedback on the project, asking if this is the next step, if the train station will be moving and where the funding will come from.

"I think it's going to be interesting," she said of the meeting. "I hope a lot of people come out."