OCEAN CITY — Local residents and visitors can expect the first real traffic pattern changes of the off-season beginning Tuesday, Sept. 6 when Ocean City begins the installation of a new sewer force main along Coastal Highway.
The new 24-inch sewer force main will be installed from 15th to 49th streets in the southbound fast lane of Coastal Highway and Philadelphia Ave. Due to the long duration required to perform this project, the contractor, Bunting & Murray Construction Corp., needs to begin work as soon as possible in order to be completed before the 2012 season.
The project will require closure of the fast lane for a three-block working area plus associated space required for temporary traffic control over nights and on weekends. The lane closures will move north as the project progresses.
During working hours, the contractor will be required to close lane two southbound as well for working room and a safety buffer. This will limit southbound traffic to the slow lane and the bus lane. Motorists are advised this will cause traffic delays.
The contractor’s working hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Thursday during the month of September, except special event weekends when work will stop on Wednesday night. Starting in October, when daylight hours are shorter, the contractor will be working Monday through Friday.
A new water main will also be installed in the northbound bus lane of Coastal Highway from 45th to 51st streets. That project will begin early next year.
Wicomico Wins Tourism Awards
OCEAN CITY — Wicomico County took home two significant tourism awards from the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) conference in Ocean City last week including “Best Booth” and “Best Female Costumes.”
During the 250-plus exhibit booth trade show, a mainstay of the annual MACo Convention, all Maryland counties share information with their colleagues about all they have to offer. This year, in conjunction with the launch of its latest visitor’s guide, Wicomico adopted the theme “Unlock Delmarva’s Hidden Treasures.”
Equipped with treasure chests, gold and, of course, pirates, Wicomico’s booth highlighted the county’s hidden treasures including its natural beauty and outdoor adventure, exceptional shopping, savory cuisine, eclectic festivals and events, historical sites and cultural experiences. Wicomico County Executive Richard Pollitt, Jr. was enthusiastic about the county tourism department’s two awards.
“I am so proud of Sandy Fulton and her staff at county tourism,” he said. “Their incredible energy and talents have proven once again that Wicomico County, with its many hidden treasures, is still a beautiful place to live, work or visit.”
SALISBURY — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley this week appointed David G. Shipley to serve as the Director of Emergency Management for Wicomico County, a position required by Maryland statute, upon the recommendation of the County Executive.
The governor’s appointment came after Wicomico County Executive Richard M. Pollitt, Jr., appointed Shipley as Director of the Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services.
“I share the governor’s confidence in Mr. Shipley’s dedication to public service,” said Pollitt. “The efficient management of Emergency Services is extremely important to the welfare of all of our citizens.”
Shipley has five years of service with Emergency Services and previously served as Deputy Director of the department. Prior to taking the position with Emergency Services, Mr. Shipley was Deputy Chief of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.
Drainage Ditch Grants Awarded
BERLIN — The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been awarded a $650,760 State Conservation Innovation Grant from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to implement progressive management practices for drainage systems on the Eastern Shore including Worcester and Wicomico.
“There are 820 miles of public ditches on the Eastern Shore that were originally designed to manage agricultural drainage,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “Today, those ditches also support storm water drainage from urban town centers, state highways, and commercial and residential development. As a result, many of these ditches are very seriously stressed. This grant will help us work with local farmers and landowners to implement innovative methods, using the most advanced technology available, for managing modern drainage needs while protecting the environment and improving water quality.”
Most of the Eastern Shore ditches were constructed in the 1960s and 1970s in Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset and Caroline, counties. They have a drainage area of 220,000 acres. Under the Maryland Drainage Law, which was passed in 1957 and last amended in 1994, MDA is responsible for ensuring that each drainage system has an approved maintenance plan in place.