SHA to hold open house on Rock Hall project

The State Highway Administration is set to hold an open house concerning a pipe culvert that needs replacing on state Route 20 near Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. The open house is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Rock Hall firehouse. 

ROCK HALL — The State Highway Administration is holding an open house in Rock Hall next week for a project that is nearly two years away from the start of construction.

The SHA is planning to replace a pipe culvert on state Route 20 just outside Rock Hall. According to a notice from the SHA, the project is still in the design phase, with construction not expected to begin until summer 2021.

The SHA open house is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Rock Hall firehouse, 21500 Rock Hall Ave. (Route 20).

The project will see the replacement of a pipe culvert that has deteriorated. Such pipe culverts allow for water to pass under a roadway to stave off flooding.

“This project will replace the damaged pipe, improve drainage, and ensure that the roadway is safe for motorists,” a notice from the SHA states. “It is anticipated that this project will take approximately four weeks to complete. Traffic flow will be disrupted for about two weeks.”

Rock Hall Mayor Dawn Jacobs previously announced the project at the Sept. 12 town meeting. At that meeting, she said the project could lead to a total closure of Route 20 to all traffic for two weeks, with detours on Tolchester and Edesville roads. She said if the SHA used a flagger to keep one lane of traffic open, the project construction time could increase to three months.

Speaking Wednesday, Oct. 9, Jacobs said she had a received an additional notice from the SHA about the project.

“I’m very concerned about the interruption that it may have on the town’s activities depending on when they decide to do it and how they decide to do it,” Jacobs said Oct. 9. “I’m looking forward to talking to them about alternatives.”

Jacobs does not know what other alternatives may be under consideration though and she worries about construction occurring during major Rock Hall festivals including the Fourth of July, Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend in August or FallFest in October.

There is no presentation planned for the Oct. 17 open house. There will be maps and displays up for attendees to

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