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Flat Run Bridge work to stretch into 2019

Danielle Ryan

(12/14) In the fall of 2016, the Maryland State Department of Transportation announced plans to begin a multi-million dollar project to replace the MD 140 Bridge over Flat Run and complete sidewalk construction along MD 140 between North Avenue and Silo Hill Road in Emmitsburg.

The sidewalk construction was completed within a couple of months

but now, over a year later, the Flat Run Bridge project end date has been extended with little explanation.

An initial visit to the Engineerís Office in Emmitsburg resulted in no answer and a visit the following day resulted in denial of the Flat Run Bridge Projectís delay. However, upon making further phone calls to the Maryland State Highway Administration itself, the affirmation of the projectís delay was finally released.

The delay has resulted from drainage and water line issues. The drainage problem first occurred last fall before the project was underway. Drainage between the town of Emmitsburg and Flat Run Bridge had to be re-designed to allow the project to proceed. This was completed fairly quickly, but nonetheless set the project back a little. On the other hand, the water line issue continues to cause problems.

Currently, the water line that runs underneath the bridge needs to be relocated before the project can move forward; a move that could cost the town an additional $19,000. A "Memorandum of Understanding" is being worked out now between the Maryland Department of Transportation, the State Contractor, and the town of Emmitsburg to determine how this new complication will be paid for. Once this is determined, the project can be completed quickly, according to the State Highway Administration.

This isnít the only issue the town has encountered throughout the course of this project. The town has been compiling a list of damages by the contractor throughout the past several months. The town has experienced several street light conduit problems as well as damages to service lines and street light poles. Town has been sending invoices to the contractor for all damages incurred.

If the remainder of the project continues to go according to plan the Flat Run Bridge Project could be completed by the summer of 2019, nearly a full year longer than the original plan. The State Highway Administration emphasized that pedestrian access to the sidewalks will continue to be available throughout the entirety of the project.

The Square revitalization, on the other hand, is continuing on schedule. Work on the sidewalks, including the square, is expected to be complete by spring of 2018. As many have already noticed, parking and the formation of the sidewalks on the square have changed. This was a decision that was made years ago in order to ensure pedestrian safety and encourage community access via walking throughout town.

This Main Street Revitalization project, in its entirety, includes an upgrade to the existing sidewalks and crosswalks, the reconstruction of parking on the square, the reconstruction of sidewalk ramps which will now be ADA compliant, a reconstruction of the curbs, gutters and the traffic signal, resurfacing the intersection, landscaping and street tree replacement. The project, when finished, will offer connectivity of sidewalks from the east point of Silo Hills Road to the west point of the town with ADA compliant sidewalks.

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