Berlin Wetlands Project To Begin

BERLIN – The long awaited Hudson Branch wetlands project is expected to begin this summer following contract approval from the Berlin Town Council.

The town council voted this month to approve a $421,150 contract with A-Del Construction for the creation of an offline wetlands along Hudson Branch.

“I see this as a milestone,” Town Administrator Laura Allen said. “It’s taken us some time.”

The wetlands, designed to address the neighborhood’s stormwater problems, will be built alongside Hudson Branch behind the Flower Street Multi-Purpose Building. The wetlands is expected to alleviate flooding and provide surplus water with a place to go. At the same time, it will improve water quality in the area.

“This is the first in a series of projects that are going to be back to back to back,” said Darl Kolar, the town’s stormwater engineer.

Kolar said the town received two bids for the work, both of which were close in costs. He recommended pursuing a contract with A-Del Construction because the company had done work in Berlin before.

Kolar says the town will be meeting with the company next week and that once work begins, A-Del Construction will have 60 days to get the project done.

A second stormwater project in the area, the enlargement of the Flower Street culvert, is expected to begin sometime this summer as well. The project is currently out for bid.

“The projects might overlap,” Allen said.

She said town officials would be scheduling a community meeting in the near future to apprise residents of the projects and the impact construction might have on the neighborhood.

“We want to make sure residents understand it’s just a temporary situation,” she said.

Mayor Gee Williams said he knew citizens were eager to see the projects completed and the neighborhood’s drainage improved.

“I know everyone’s anxious,” he said. “I’m glad to see so much interest in a stormwater project.”

Showell Street resident Grace Purnell said she’d been asking the town to do something to alleviate flooding in the neighborhood for 30 years. She said she was hoping the drainage problems on her street would be addressed.

Williams said Showell Street’s problems would be dealt with when the Flower Street culvert was replaced.

“We want this as much as you do but there are things that are not within our control,” he said, stressing that the rain this spring had delayed numerous projects. “Mother Nature has been horrible to everyone.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.