Work Ongoing On Repairing Monocacy Blvd In Frederick Following Sinkhole

Photo by Ryan Hedrick

Mayor says design specifications are being prepared.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – The City of Frederick is working as fast as it can to repair Monocacy Boulevard near the I-70 ramp where a sinkhole opened up earlier this month. “We don’t do a study to know how to fix it. We do have to understand the extent of the damage and then the engineers have go and design what the solution is,”: says Mayor Michael O’Connor. “You don’t just dump a bunch of dirt in a hole and put asphalt over top of it. It’s more complicated than that.”

Early in May, a sinkhole opened up in a drainage swale near Monocacy Boulevard near the I-70 ramp. . But it grew following some heavy rains, and it now extends across Monocacy Boulevard. That roadway is closed  from the I-70 ramp to East South Street.

During an appearance this week on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,” O’Connor said the city is working on specifications and they will be sent out to contractors for bids. “We’re moving as quickly as we can,”: he said. “Believe me when I say no one is sitting back waiting for this road to fix. It’s actively being managed by our projects department, our engineering department.”

The Mayor said he couldn’t give a time line for repairs to be completed, and that stretch of Monocacy Boulevard to be reopened.

In an interview a few weeks ago on WFMD, City Public Woks Director Zach Kerschner said it could take a couple of months for repairs to be completed, and the road reopened. He said Frederick City and the County are prone to sinkholes due to the region’s karst geology, which is mostly limestone where voids exist.

Mayor O’Connor said he’s aware of the number of businesses that have been impacted by the closure of that stretch of Monocacy Boulevard, including Mason-Dixon Barbecue and Royal Farms. “There’s access to every business there,” he said. “Obviously, it’s inconvenient to have a road like that closed for a period of time. But we also can’t fix the road faster than we can fix the road.”

During the interview on “The Morning News Express,” Mayor O’Connor was asked about a report that the city turned down a $400,000 bid to fix the roadway. “I have not heard that,” he replied. “I do not believe we have bid the project yet so I don’t believe that’s accurate.”

That stretch of Monocacy Boulevard remains closed, and motorists are urge to stay away from the area.

By Kevin McManus