Pines Officials Highlight Upcoming Drainage Improvement Efforts

BERLIN – As recent rains have highlighted drainage issues in Ocean Pines, officials are assuring residents improvements are being planned.

General Manger John Viola told concerned residents during December’s Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board meeting that improvements, notably work at Bainbridge Pond, would be done in 2021.

“For the Bainbridge area, that whole area all around the pond, it’s definitely going to help it,” Viola said. “They’re doing work with the pond that will have a big plus to that area.”

Following Viola’s mention of the 5.7 inches of rain OPA Public Works staff measured on Dec. 5, a resident asked the board what impact the Bainbridge project would have for people like his sister-in-law, who lived on Burr Hill Drive.

“She’s had terrible flood problems over the last couple years, getting 3 to 8 inches of water in her garage, and I’m wondering, this Bainbridge project, how will this project affect the immediate area and how will it affect Ocean Pines overall?” he said.

Viola told him that numerous changes were being made around the pond that would have a positive impact on drainage in that area.

“I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be perfect but to answer your question it certainly will relieve some of the pressure and everything down there,” he said. “Between the grants and the money this board has put aside for it, that’s $800,000 that’s going to be put to work down there over the next six months.”

He added that Colby Phillips, director of amenities and operational logistics for OPA, had put together a presentation regarding the Bainbridge project and would share it with any residents who were interested.

According to Phillips, improvements at Bainbridge Pond include the replacement of a storm drain inflow pipe and replacements of the pond’s outflow pipes, to include construction of a weir that will help water levels during larger storms. Additional improvements include construction of a new forebay (artificial pool of water in front of a larger body of water), installation of aquatic benches, improvements to the park road and construction of a new drainage swale downslope of the park road. Phillips said culverts at Beaconhill, Sandyhook and Pinehurst would also be replaced.

She added that water quality was a focus of the project and it would reduce total nitrogen by 1,536 pounds a year, phosphorus by 174 pounds a year and 90 tons of suspended solids per year.

Phillips expects the following streets to see some drainage improvement from the project: Pinehurst Road, Allendale Court, Sandyhook Road, Beaconhill Road, Dingy Court, Ocean Parkway, Coventry Court, Canal Road, Burr Hill Drive, Commodore Court, Salty Way.

“Our hope is to start the project by late February, early March and be completed by July/August time frame,” she said.

Phillips said the Bainbridge project was the result of a joint effort between Worcester County, Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Vista Design Inc. and the OPA team.

“Bainbridge is sort of the backbone to getting us started,” she said. “I can assure you that although this is our first major project on drainage and is getting a lot of highlight, the board, general manager and the team are working in several other areas of Ocean Pines on both the North and South sides that are experiencing drainage and flooding issues.  We take these issues very seriously but they do take time to get completed.”

She encouraged anyone with specific questions about the project to email her at cphillips@oceanpines.org and said anyone with drainage issues could reach out to Public Works Director Eddie Wells at ewells@oceanpines.org.

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.