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Reservoirs close for recreation amid COVID-19 spread

Posted at 8:40 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 07:19:48-04

SPARKS, Md (WMAR) — The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is taking further precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Starting Monday, all recreational activities at the Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy reservoirs will be suspended. This includes hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, boating, fishing, and horseback riding.

"I feel like it’s kind of hard to close down nature," said Alex, who was out walking a trail Sunday evening.

"It’s gonna be a little upsetting for us but if that is what has to be done for the safety of everybody, I guess that’s what we are gonna have to do," said Jose, who fishes at Loch Raven on the weekends.

To reserve DPW employees for critical functions, several services will also be suspended effective Monday, including street and alley cleaning, graffiti removal and bulk trash pickup.

"I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. These are unprecedented times," said Alex.

Until further notice, DPW will only be addressing emergency water maintenance issues and all non-essential construction, engineering, and maintenance projects will be suspended.

Other changes effective Monday until further notice:

  • The Quarantine Road Landfill will no longer accept cash or credit card transactions.
  • The Water Billing Customer Call Center will be closed as will the Customer Walk-In Center located on the first floor of the Abel Wolman Municipal Building.
  • Prequalification for contractors/consultants will be automatically extended for three months.
  • Minimal staffing will be managing utility maintenance and meter operations. Only emergency or essential functions will be handled.
  • All staff capable of teleworking must telework.