Calvert Public Works Reviews Projects List

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Calvert Public Works Reviews Projects List

Prince Frederick, MD - 12/13/2012

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By Marty Madden

Despite the challenging fiscal times, the staff of Calvert County Government’s Department of Public Works is plowing, digging and moving ahead with numerous infrastructure projects. Department officials provided the Calvert County Commissioners with an overview of the capital projects during the board’s Tuesday, Dec. 11 meeting.

P. Rai Sharma, deputy director-engineering, reviewed the transportation projects in the pipeline.

The reconstruction of Fairground Road in Prince Frederick is estimated to cost $2.9 million and is currently in the right-of-way acquisition phase. Sharma said the reconstructed road would have sidewalks.

Chesapeake Boulevard will be part of the Prince Frederick Loop Road. The project, which is in the permit acquisition stage, realigns and widens the road with a roundabout being added. The project, which will start in 2013, will cost between $6 million and $8 million.

Intersection improvements to Prince Frederick Boulevard/Route 231 are to include a traffic signal. Department of Public Works Director Terry Carlson said it would take about 18 months to obtain from the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA). “You get in line,” said Carlson. Preliminary design of the project is complete but work is on hold until SHA approves the design. Construction will cost about $2.5 million.

In the southern end of the county, design for the reconstruction of Dowell Road is 90 percent complete and right-of-way negotiations and acquisition are in progress. Also underway is the relocation of utilities. The total project cost is nearly $8 million and Sharma said construction should start next year. Of the current Dowell Road, Sharma admitted “it’s pretty dangerous but once we complete it will be first-class.”

The widening of Williams Road, which allows access to the College of Southern Maryland’s Prince Frederick campus and Barstow Elementary School, is expected to start in fiscal year (FY) 2014 and cost $5.3 million.

A much-needed project in Sunderland –relocation of approximately 800 feet of Pushaw Station Road near the Mount Hope Community Center and compactor site is needed to reduce a vertical grade and improve site distance. Sharma reported $790,000 in funding is being requested for the project. He noted Pushaw Station Road residents have called for the treacherous situations on the road to be addressed. The citizens have lobbied both the county commissioners and county planning commission. “They [residents] have been dealing with this for a long time,” said Commissioner Susan Shaw[R]. 

The second contract for improvements to Boyd’s Turn Road in Owings is in the design phase. The total cost estimate for both project contracts is nearly $7 million.

The department has estimated the cost of proposed improvements to the Dalrymple Road/Hardesty Road intersection is $350,000. The work could possibly start next summer. 

In a related project, Sharma reported the design for the Mt. Hope Convenience Center is 95 percent complete and the $2.6 million project could begin next summer.

Sharma also gave the commissioners overviews on several engineering projects and the cost estimates. The Lake Karylbrook Dam restoration will cost an estimated $275,000 while repair to the Gunsmoke Trail Dam is expected to cost about $150,000. A request to forward fund the project in the FY 2014 budget is pending.

The Solomons Island Road Sidewalk project will connect the sidewalk in front of Calvert Marine Museum to Alexander Street. The estimated cost is $800,000. Sharma said the county is seeking grant funding to help pay for the project.

Gas remediation at Barstow Landfill is expected to be completed next spring at an estimated cost of $600,000. Sharma stated the main goal of the project was to “contain the gas at the landfill” and not have it released into residential neighborhoods. The project may also give Calvert some leverage in the “carbon credits” trading market.

Sharma reported one very notable engineering project has been completed. The Cage Farm Wetland Mitigation Bank will provide a venue for the county to comply with regulations calling for mitigation of disturbed wetlands during capital projects. The 10-acre facility was done at an estimated cost of $300,000.

Mark Willis, the department’s deputy director of Enterprise Fund Operations, reported on the water and sewerage projects underway or planned during the fiscal year. The Lakewood Water System upgrade is expected to cost $707,000 and is 70 percent complete, Willis reported.

The East Prince Frederick Well and Tower project will cost an estimated $2.8 million and take a year to complete. Components are a 10-foot well and a water tower with a 750,000 gallon tank.

The Hunting Hills Water System upgrade is almost complete and Willis reported the cost estimate is $590,000.

Two of the pricier sewerage projects scheduled to start in 2013 are the Chesapeake Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant reconstruction and enhanced nutrient removal upgrade--Calvert County’s share of that project is $3.4 million—and the Industrial Park Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade—which is expected to cost $2.5 million.

Willis reported that six additional water projects are anticipated in FY 2014. “The wallet is not endless and juggling these projects day-to-day is what we do,” said Willis. Water and sewer projects are to be paid by facility users through the Enterprise Fund. “We are not a ‘for-profit business.’ Everything goes back in the system.”

“What we’re doing is upgrading infrastructure, we are not adding on,” said Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry Clark [R]. Clark noted that with many essential but expensive water and sewer projects planned, and constituents who are facing rising bills in all utilities, the county commissioners would soon need to have a discussion about the Enterprise Fund “and how we make this work.”

Contact Marty Madden at

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