News Flash


Posted on: November 6, 2019



November 6, 2019

The schedule to complete Morris Mill Dam and reopen South Division Street in Fruitland has been revised with a new completion date of March 30, 2020. The work began in September 2018 and was scheduled for a year. However, water was discovered seeping through the dam shortly after construction started which required a halt to the work and a complete redesign. The redesign required a lengthy re-permitting process by the Maryland Department of the Environment Dam Safety Division (MDE) to ensure the High Hazard Dam met current federal and state dam safety requirements. When work resumed in late spring 2019 the estimated construction completion date was late fall/end of December. The contractor has been steadily working since the spring but at a recent meeting between Public Works and the contractor, a revised schedule was discussed with the contractor putting forward the construction completion date of March 30, 2020.  

Construction challenges the project has to contend with include a live 6 inch gas main within the construction area, overhead utilities, water seepage from the pond and surrounding groundwater, and poor soil conditions. The redesign also added 30 foot deep steel sheet pile walls, along with twin 6 foot diameter concrete spillway pipes buried approximately 20 feet under the road surface. It is Public Works number one priority to keep the project moving and keep the public informed of any changes to the schedule. Public Works, the contractor, MDE, and the designing engineer meet twice monthly to review the project progress and look for ways to expedite the schedule and solutions to any issues.  Proper rehabilitation of this dam is essential so the properties downstream of the dam are properly protected.  

We appreciate the public's patience with this critical, infrastructure safety project and apologize for the inconvenience.  For the public's information, below are progress photos from the job since it restarted in the spring.   Please contact Public Works at 410-548-4872 if there are any questions or concerns.