Off Kent Road, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, along with Councilman John Grasso, took sledge hammers to Glen Burnie cement drain to kick off a $5.3 million Furnace Creek waterway improvement project.
“This cement nightmare is a testament to shortsighted stormwater management that has hurt our waterways and our Bay for decades,” said County Executive Steve Schuh. “This project will help bring life back to the Patapsco watershed, one of the most challenged in Maryland.
The project is the largest undertaken so far in North County and one of dozens planned for the Tidal Patapsco River watershed in the County’s comprehensive Watershed Protection and Restoration Program. The Furnace Creek Drainage Area is approximately 1.01 square miles (or 646 acres) of which 43% is impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalk, rooftops, and other hard surfaces.
The proposed wetland that will replace the cement channel aims to restore and enhance 3,700 linear feet of Furnace Creek which will include removal of an estimated 2,600 linear feet of concrete flume channel, and the creation of over 5 acres filled with native plants. The stream section starts just northeast of the intersection of New Jersey Avenue NE and Kent Road in Glen Burnie and continues northeast to the west side of MD Route 10.
The Furnace Creek project is part of the largest waterway cleanup effort in the history of Anne Arundel County. In the last three years, the County has initiated over 170 new projects and completed over 100 water quality projects at a total cost of over $84 million dollars. These investments have also bolstered Anne Arundel County’s existing stormwater infrastructure, resulting in the repair or replacement of over 450 storm drains and culverts, a tenfold increase in our implementation rate compared to prior funding levels. The 2019 budget calls for continuing historic investments in waterway cleanup aggregating nearly $190 million dollars in over 130 different projects throughout the County over the next six years.
Construction of the Furnace Creek Stream and Wetland Restoration project is expected to take six months to complete.