Does anyone remember that on February 9, 2016, Dominion Cove Point LNG gave the Calvert Board of County Commissioners a check for $250,000 to improve the intersection of Cove Point Road and Little Cove Point Road? With another fatality this month at that intersection, why hasn’t the work been done?
In 2014 the intersection at Little Cove Point Road and Cove Point Road was improved by Dominion Cove Point LNG by paying for a turning lane. In 2015 Dominion bought the property East of the intersection and removed the fence that obstructed driver visibility. At that time, it was determined that a right angle turn lane was needed, when entering Cove Point Road from Little Cove Point Road. Dominion has been a great neighbor to the Cove Point neighborhood, stepping up to fix community problems.
Rai Sharma, Director of Public Works, made a presentation to the Calvert Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). He stated that State Highway Administration (SHA) had approved the submitted plans and had applied for an access permit. The construction can start once the overhead utilities are relocated underground.
The estimated cost of this project was $250,000, which includes design and engineering permitting, utility relocation, construction and inspection. Dominion Cove Point provided the necessary property easement at no cost to the county and contributed $250,000 to support the construction.
On February 17, 2016, staff presented the proposed planned intersection improvements to the Planning Commission reviewed voted affirmatively on its consistency with the Calvert County Comprehensive Plan. On February 22, 2016 the record was closed.
On July 18, 2016, I spoke with Commissioner Mike Hart to find out why the work hadn’t been done. He explained that the problem lay with Verizon. The lines and poles had to be moved in order to do the road work. When the office had spoken with Verizon, they said because of the Verizon strike there was nothing they could do and essentially told them “to go pound sand”. So Commissioner Hart called Senator Mike Miller’s office and followed up by sending the information, hoping to get a helping hand. As of today, they have not heard from Senator Miller.
Speaking with Rai Sharma, Director of Public Works, he said “please be advised we are waiting for Verizon to relocate their facilities underground before the construction can start. We have in hand Access permit from the State Highway Administration and also the Grading Permit from the County. The Contractor is lined up to start the construction. As of today Verizon has not given me any dates to start or finish the work.”
How many more lives will be lost before Verizon will get the work done? Will Senator Mike Miller get involved and try to get Verizon to cooperate? Everything has been gotten ready to fix the problem, so come on Verizon get with the program!
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon