New time table set for Morris Mill Dam completion
FRUITLAND, Md. – “I’ll be glad when it’s done, and I know it’s going to be better than it was in the beginning,” said Bowser Jones.
Residents in Fruitland are counting down the days until construction on the Morris Mill Dam is finally complete.
“I live on the other side, but now I’ve got to go onto 13 and go all the way down to snow hill road and turn around and come back on this way. Just to go on the other side of the bridge,” said resident Choudhry Asif.
When crews started construction on the dam back in 2018, the project was supposed to take approximately six months to complete. But when they began, contractors found out they were dealing with a much bigger problem.
“We found water was actually seeping through the dam which is never a good thing for a dam to have water going through it,” said Wicomico County Division of Public Works Director, Dallas Baker.
And with this recently discovered issue, it was back to the drawing board.
“What we were planning on doing was probably not the best solution. We needed to go back and re-design the dam to address the water seepage coming through it,” Baker explained.
After taking the next couple of months to resubmit a plan and go through the approval process, crews were finally able to get back to work in May. But not without the county coughing up some more money first.
“Originally we were looking at around $1.5 million, and right now we’re looking at about $3.1 million with all of the extra work. They’ve driven sheet pile walling out there now. It’s about 30 feet down on the downstream side where we’re installing large primary spillway pipes which are about 72 inch diameter concrete pipes” said Baker.
Baker tells 47 ABC that they’ve got their sights set on finishing construction before Christmas. And residents say that day can’t come soon enough.
“Oh I’ll be completely, very happy,” said Asif.
County officials say that they realize the construction has been a big disturbance for people in the area. And if you would like to have concerns addressed or have questions regarding the project, you can reach out to the division of public works at 410-548-4872.