Transforming the Cambridge waterfront
CAMBRIDGE — The Cambridge waterfront transformation continues to move forward with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health closer to the possible relocation of the city’s hospital to the proposed medical campus along U.S. Route 50.
The other part to the plan is the city’s intention to redevelop the Choptank River waterfront from the port of Cambridge site off Hayward Street to the property where the currently hospital sits.
The city celebrated the completion of stage one when Gov. Larry Hogan visited the Port of Cambridge and held a ribbon cutting with city officials at the end of July for the new 500-foot-long by 40-footwide walkway at the wharf.
“The local leaders have an exciting vision,” Hogan said. “This is just the beginning of a really great transformation in Cambridge.
“We’ve had a great relationship with Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley who has done an incredible job. I want to thank all the partners. I want to congratulate everyone here in Cambridge, Dorchester County and everybody from the state of Maryland for working together. The state was pleased to commit $4 million to make this happen.”
The $5.7 million project included funding from several sources — $2.5 million grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation, $500,000 from Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, $1 million from Hogan’s bond bill budget and $1.7 million from the city of Cambridge.
The reconstruction of the wharf included new steel sheeting, new steel pipe piles, new concrete slabs, pile caps, a new tie-back anchoring system, light-weight concrete backfill, lighting, bio-retention stormwater planters with landscaping and irrigation and brick paver surface.
“I thank you, governor, again for bringing all your staff and for the money that you have invested in this wharf for us,” said Cambridge Public Works Director Odie Wheeler. “It is absolutely beautiful.”
Wheeler said the vision to redevelop the Port of Cambridge property began about seven years ago, and he credited former Cambridge Economic Development Director Natalie Chabot for laying a strong planning foundation.
“We all got together in cooperation with the state and the Maryland Port Administration,” he said. “Cambridge is no doubt, unequivocally, going to be much better off in the near future.
“Our vision was to get this part done. I call it phase one. Now, we are ready to move on to phase two and three, which includes the parcel over at the hospital.”
Shore Health recently filed applications with the Maryland Health Care Commission seeking approval to move forward with its proposed medical campus at Cambridge Marketplace, the site of the former Kmart, along Route 50 in Cambridge.
The plan would be to replace the aging Shore Medical Center at Dorchester on the Choptank River waterfront with a freestanding medical facility, to be known as University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Cambridge. Next to the new medical center would be a new medical pavilion with offices and services available to the community.
If the plans for the new medical complex are approved, the 14-acre old hospital site along the Choptank River waterfront has the potential for economic development for the city of Cambridge and Dorchester County.
In May, Shore Health signed a letter of intent with the city of Cambridge and Dorchester County to sell the closed site and land to a newly formed waterfront authority, Cambridge Waterfront Development Inc. The city and the
county then would be able to develop the land.
Though a lot remains to be done before plans can move forward, the Port of Cambridge has been in the spotlight this week with the S.S.
John W. Brown docked at the
new walkway. S.S. John W.
Brown, one of only two World War II liberty ships still operating in America, arrived in Cambridge Aug. 4 and is staying until Saturday, Aug. 12.
Thousands have visited Cambridge to see the ship. The S.S. John W. Brown will remain open to the public the rest of the week from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The new 500-foot-long by 40-foot-wide walkway at the Port of Cambridge has been completed and is open to the public.
Gov. Larry Hogan and local officials cut the ribbon for the new walkway at the Port of Cambridge. Hogan met with local officials at the walkway on July 17.