Izaak Walton Trail Culvert and Splitway Restoration (PHOTOS)
Restoration work is underway on the Izaak Walton Trail culvert and splitway in Gaithersburg after the roadway was partially washed away last month after some flooding rains.
Gaithersburg Project Engineer Sandra Gross said the timeline of the project was moved up because of the damage to the roadway and the need to improve the drainage of this area as quickly as possible.
According to Gross, the damage included exposing an existing concrete sewer pipe that also serves the area. Fortunately, she said the sewer pipe is in good condition and was not compromised.
About half of the Quince Orchard Park community and all of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) campus drain through the culvert under the roadway. The pipe empties into the Muddy Branch watershed.
Built back in the 1950s by owner Otis Beall Kent, Gross said the culvert is now undersized for serving the populated and growing Gaithersburg area.
Work on the Izaak Walton Trail restoration project began in late June and is slated to be complete within 90 days.
Passersby may have seen bulldozers and other construction vehicles entering the site off Great Seneca Highway near the southern end of the Quince Orchard Park community. Right now, the workers are installing sediment control and infill devices.
Although the area now looks sparse from an adjacent pathway in Quince Orchard Park, Gross said the workers have only removed four trees (over 12-inches in height), which she said were already in pretty bad shape. Most of the clearing work has involved the removal of underbrush and vines.
“There is no plan to replant the trees,” said Gross, who noted you would not want to plant anything under the Pepco powerlines that traverse the property. She said there may be some fill in work to do after construction is complete.
The construction work involves removing the existing culvert and replacing it with a larger one that can handle a 50-year storm, and then regrading the roadway. She said a pathway connection, that is ADA accessible, from the Quince Orchard Park community to the Izaak Walton trail will be constructed as well.
Gross described the area as “pretty ticky” so she said crews are being vigilant about checking for ticks when working in this area.
The workers will be on hiatus the week of July 6 but will return the following week. Work takes place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Danger signs have been posted to keep passersby out of the work zone so access to the Izaak Walton trail is limited during the construction period.
Gross said the cost of this restoration project is approximately $380,000.
With more flooding rains forecast for later today (July 3), Gross said the public works department will keep a close eye on this area because of its history for flooding.