Howard Announces $8.1M Grant to Repair Damage from 2018 Flash Flood

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New Cut Road after severe flooding in 2018 (photo courtesy of Howard County Government)

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball this week announced that the County has received an $8.1 million grant from the National Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to rebuild the portion of New Cut Road that washed away in the May 2018 Ellicott City flood.

The 2018 Ellicott City flood caused one death and resulted in an estimated $20 million worth of damages. In 2016, Ellicott City was ravaged by a flash flood that claimed two lives and caused roughly $10 million in damages.

“Our progress on rebuilding and strengthening Ellicott City continues to move forward every day,” said Ball. “This grant is another example of our collaboration with national and state partners to make positive change. I am proud that we will restore New Cut Road while spending fewer taxpayer dollars, and I want to thank the National Resources Conservation Services for their support.”

According to a press release:

The County estimates that all work will be completed, and New Cut Road will re-open, between July – September of 2020, weather permitting. The restoration is being completed via two concurrent, but separately funded, projects:

  • NRCS Grant – The grant award of up to $8.1 million will fund work in an area between 3850 New Cut Road and College Avenue. This project will stabilize and rebuild portion of the stream bank severely eroded by the flood. This is among the costliest repair projects following the 2018 flood and the County applied for the grant in August of that year. While awaiting word on the grant, the Department of Public Works (DPW) completed project design, engineering work, and some preliminary construction work (such as relocating utility lines). In July 2019, the County advertised a pre-bid meeting to discuss the scope and scale of the project with interested companies. In August 2019, a meeting was held with nine interested companies, with bids due later this month. The County expects the project will cost less than $8.1 million, and under terms of the grant award, any surplus funds from the project will be returned to NRCS. Notice of award and authority to proceed will likely be given approximately one month after bids are received and the County expects work to begin in November.
  • FEMA Reimbursement – FEMA funding supports the work in an area between 3880 New Cut Road and Hillsborough Road. Two retaining walls approximately 325 feet in total length that were damaged during the flood and caused portions of New Cut Road to be washed out will be repaired. Since the flood, temporary roadway and stream stabilization work were performed by using stone riprap along the stream banks. As part of permanent repairs to the retaining wall, utility poles along the stream banks must be relocated.

New Cut Road is currently closed to through traffic between College Avenue and Hillsborough Road. Detour for this closure involves Hillsborough Road, Village Crest Drive and College Avenue. Access to all addresses within the closure area of New Cut Road is maintained and procedures are in place for our first responders (Police and Fire & Rescue) to access properties as needed.

Read the full press release for more information.

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