Howard County Executive Calvin Ball was joined by Comptroller Brooke Lierman, and other state and local leaders to cut the ribbon on the Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond, a critical Ellicott City Safe and Sound project. The pond will provide nearly 3.3 million gallons of storage, which would fill a football field with nearly 7.5 feet of water. The Quaker Mill Pond is the second retention pond to be completed as part of the EC Safe and Sound Plan. Pictures from the event can be found here, and drone footage of the pond can be found here.
“The completion of this pond marks another giant leap forward in our efforts to implement the transformational EC Safe and Sound flood mitigation plan,” said County Executive Ball. “The Quaker Mill Pond is our second major retention project to mitigate flooding. It will reduce peak flow rates from the site for the 100-year storm by approximately 30 percent. I’m deeply appreciative for all our local, state, and federal partners who continue to help us make significant progress on the safety of Ellicott City. We continue to move with urgency, cooperation and resolve, to ensure that Ellicott City’s best days are ahead.”
Of the $2.8 million in project costs, $2.1 million in State funding was provided to support this project through the Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Grant Program. The State Board of Public Works (BPW) unanimously approved the MDE grant to support this project. This project improves the prior Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond located at the intersection of Rogers Avenue and Patapsco River Road.
“It was my honor to celebrate the completion of the Quaker Mill Dry Flood Mitigation Pond,” said Governor Wes Moore. “This project is an incredible example of our commitment across all levels of government, to help our most vulnerable communities become more sustainable and resilient to a changing environment.”
“The Quaker Mill Pond project in Ellicott City exemplifies the type of strategic investments the Board of Public Works can make to increase our state’s resilience to climate change,” said Comptroller Brooke Lierman. “Both my predecessor and I share a vision for how elected leaders can responsibly leverage today’s resources to meet tomorrow’s challenges, meeting the diverse preparedness needs of all of Maryland’s communities.”
The Ball Administration, with the help of State, local and federal partners, has secured over $167 million in total funding for the Safe and Sound Plan and related flood mitigation projects in Ellicott City, including a $75 million federal WIFIA loan.
“I’m so proud to have worked with our state and local partners to bring more than $42 million back for the Ellicott City Safe & Sound Plan,” said Maryland State Senator Katie Fry Hester. “We are a uniquely resilient City, and we are moving quickly to implement a comprehensive solution that will make our 250-year-old mill town a national climate resilience model for the next 250 years.”
“The completion of the Quaker Mill Pond is a reflection of the important progress we have made on flood mitigation efforts in Ellicott City,” said Maryland State House Delegation Chair Courtney Watson. “My office, alongside Senator Guzzone, Senator Hester and the entire Howard County Delegation, have been proud partners in the EC Safe and Sound plan, and I look forward to our continued collaboration with County Executive Ball to safeguard the future of Ellicott City.”
In October, Ball cut the ribbon on the first Safe and Sound project, the H-7 Dry Flood Mitigation Pond. The pond, constructed on state land in a clover-leaf interchange at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 40/Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, can hold enough runoff to cover a football field to the height of 10 feet. It has the capacity to hold 4.24 million gallons of water, restricting its flow into the Tiber River watershed and away from Historic Ellicott City.
Today’s ribbon cutting follows a January 30th update from Ball on the Extended North Tunnel. The tunnel is the largest and most impactful flood mitigation component of the EC Safe and Sound plan, and it is nearing design completion. The Extended North Tunnel, approximately 5,000 feet long and 18 feet in diameter, will carry 26,000 gallons of stormwater per second. It will move water away from streets and foundations of Ellicott City and the West End and directly into the Patapsco River. The Extended North Tunnel is one of seven flood mitigation projects in the EC Safe and Sound Plan.
“The Quaker Mill Pond project completion represents hope and progress for the Historic Ellicott City Business District, and the Ellicott City Partnership is thrilled that the County continues to move full steam ahead toward completing the seven flood projects of EC’s Safe & Sound Plan,” said Jillian Joseph, Executive Director, Ellicott City Partnership.
“As a small business owner on Main Street, the completion of the Quaker Mill Flood Mitigation Pond represents an important milestone towards the progress of the overall Safe and Sound plan to come to fruition in Old Ellicott City,” said Maria Martinez, an Ellicott City Small Business Owner and President of the Ellicott City Partnership. “We recognize Dr. Ball’s commitment to push though and fulfill the objective of the plan for a safe and sound Historic Ellicott City to stabilize and thrive.”
Ball announced the EC Safe and Sound plan in December of 2018, just weeks after taking office. Since then, despite the global pandemic, various critical safety measures have been implemented. They include:
- The installation of high ground signage throughout Main Street;
- The completion of an outdoor tone alert system; and
- The establishment of a stream debris cleaning program to remove debris from waterways in and around Ellicott City, which has resulted in the productive removal of over 31 tons of debris since implementation
More information on the EC Safe and Sound plan can be found here.