That section of the roadway has been closed for a long period of time.
Frederick, Md (KM) It could be a sign that Monocacy Boulevard near the Monocacy River could be reopening soon. During a recent appearance on “The Morning News Express” on WFMD, Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said pavement striping in that area could begin shortly. “Striping is really the icing on the cake,” he said.
The roadway has been closed for more than a year while an improvement project was underway. Monocacy Boulevard was originally scheduled to reopen in April. But by May, the reopening was pushed back to late July or early August, and then to late October. It’s still closed. A number of residents are frustrated, wondering when it’s going to reopen to traffic.
“There’s no reason for the City to want this project to move slow,” he says. “It’s really hard to convey to an anxious public that wants the challenges that are brought with that road being closed, traffic snarls and everything that goes along with that. We all want it to be open because it’s going to improve the situation.”
The improvement work on that stretch of Monocacy Boulevard includes the construction of a second bridge over the Monocacy River, the addition of more than 3500 feet of road along a four-lane arterial road and the installation of a new traffic signal at Monocacy Boulevard and Gas House Pike.
O’Connor also said Monocacy Boulevard provides an alternative to get around the city, instead of using Interstate 70 or Route 15. “It’s an alternate to ’70 to the south in some instances. But we’re trying to give folks a better way to get to the north and to the east side of Frederick when they’re coming through without necessarily having to take Route 15 which is its own challenging dynamic,” he says.
Frederick Town Mall
The Mayor also addressed the future of the former Frederick Town Mall. In November, the Frederick Planning Commission approved a request from the mall’s owners to rezone the property from general commercial with conditions of rezoning to general commercial with no conditions for rezoning.
The property’s current zoning was granted in 2013 in anticipation of the demolition of the center part of the mall, which would allow for a Wal Mart to be constructed in its place. Boscov’s and Home Depot would remain in place. But Wal Mart backed out.
“when the Wal Mart project was proposed, they were really talking about tearing down effectively the center of the mall, pushing back that Wal Mart farther back on the property,” says Mayor O’Connor. “There would have been a road that would have come through. They wanted some new pad sites.”
The new owners of the former Frederick Town Mall have proposed changing the name to District 40. They also want to add an arcade, a bowling alley and trampoline park. The owners have already signed a lease with Warehouse Cinemas to construct luxury movie theaters with leather reclining seating, premium food and drink and a digital projection system. These new theaters are expected to open next summer.
By Kevin McManus