Forest Park Ave. bridge reopens after 19 months
The Forest Park Avenue bridge in West Baltimore reopened to motorists yesterday after having been closed for repairs for 19 months, the city's Department of Transportation said.
Closing the road inconvenienced thousands of people who had to make long detours on Liberty Heights Avenue or Windsor Mill Road. "The road is a gateway that bridges a gap between Baltimore City and Baltimore County," said David Brown, a spokesman for the transportation department.
Brown said work began in September 2005 and that the bridge, which had been deteriorating, was replaced. About 80 percent of the $5.7 million project was funded by the federal government, with the rest coming from local and state funds, he said.
Neighborhoods affected by the closure included Dickeyville, Hillsdale, Gwynns Falls, Forest Park and Windsor Mills. "Certainly motorists who travel that area are going to be pleasantly surprised by their ability to cross the bridge," Brown said.
The new bridge is wider than the old one and includes bicycle lanes that that will eventually extend to the Gywnn's Falls bike trail.
The bridge and road were reopened after a ceremony yesterday morning. U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings and City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake were among those who attended the ceremony.
Restaurants urged to cut trans fats
Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein called on the city's restaurants yesterday to cut their use of trans fats.
Sharfstein is sending a letter to all of the city's restaurants and other food establishments explaining the dangers of trans fats and asking them to switch to "heart-healthy alternatives this year."
To cut trans fats, restaurants would need to stop using margarine, shortening or any kind of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils when preparing food. In addition to raising cholesterol levels, those ingredients have been linked to heart disease and contribute to obesity, health officials said.
Two city restaurants joined Sharfstein yesterday in his announcement. Phillips Seafood Restaurants and Cafe Hon announced changes they have made to eliminate trans fats from their food production.
City health officials will follow up with a survey in the next few months to try to determine what progress, if any, restaurants have made in cutting their use.
Easter egg hunt scheduled Saturday
The annual Easter egg hunt at the College of Notre Dame is set for Saturday at the college's campus, 4701 N. Charles St. Sponsored by the college's alumnae association, the Easter egg hunt is open to children up to age 10, and the cost is $5 per child. Registration and crafts are to start at 9:30 a.m., with the hunt - divided by age groups - set for 10 a.m. on Doyle Lawn. Reservations are encouraged. Information: 410-532- 3166.