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August 19, 2021

Mr. Gregory I. Slater


Secretary
Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive
Hanover, MD 21076-0548

Mr. Tim Smith


Administrator
State Highway Administration
707 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202-3601

Dear Secretary Slater and Administrator Smith:

I write to you to inquire about the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT’s) strategy
to address stormwater drainage issues across the state. As you know, severe storms have put
tremendous stress on Maryland’s drainage infrastructure in the last several years, including
infrastructure under the control of the State Highway Administration (SHA). In my legislative
district alone we have several ongoing drainage problems which have gone unaddressed over
multiple years.

The attached document details several of these drainage problems in Legislative District 16
which are resulting in ongoing property damage as well as causing a safety hazard to residents.
These problems have each been analyzed by the Hydraulics Division of SHA. In some
instances, SHA has been able to identify the improvements necessary to solve the drainage
problems, but have been unable to implement them due to lack of funds.

Drainage problems will only continue to worsen due to the effects of climate change.
Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act plan projects that the state will continue to
experience more extreme precipitation events in the coming years. The 2030 GGRA Plan warns
that “due to the low permeability of urban surfaces large quantities of runoff may quickly
overwhelm the capacity of stormwater drainage systems.” 1 It is imperative that Maryland act

1
Maryland Department of the Environment. (2021, February 19). The Greenhouse Gas
Reduction Act: 2030 GGRA Plan.
immediately to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to mitigate these drainage
issues.

I raised this topic at the February 19 meeting of the Transportation and Environment
Subcommittee of Appropriations, which you both attended. Administrator Smith agreed with my
assessment that drainage was one of MDOT SHA’s most pressing issues and stated that the
resources currently allocated would not be enough to fix the infrastructure problems.

I request an update on MDOT SHA’s plan of action to upgrade the state’s stormwater drainage
system to account for climate change and increased flooding, including projections on the
necessary funding or other resources to address MDOT SHA infrastructure drainage issues. I
look forward to your response and working with you to address this critical issue facing our
state.

Sincerely,

Delegate Marc Korman


Drainage Issues in Legislative District 16

5808 Wilson Lane, Bethesda, MD 20817

 The homeowners have experienced persistent flooding on their property stemming from MD 188 (Wilson Lane).
A team from SHA visited the property in March of 2021 and found that there was no drainage system in the area
that the homeowners could tap into to alleviate the flooding.
6500 Bradley Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20817

The homeowners at this location have dealt with severe flooding from MD 191 (Bradley Blvd) for years. The issue
relates to stormwater management and the culvert of Bulls Run where it crosses Bradley adjacent to Howell Rd. The
problem starts with the box culvert on the upstream end which subsequently splits into two smaller boxes that connect
respectively to the twin concrete pipes on the left hand side (looking in the downstream direction), and to the masonry
channel on the right. The box culvert does not have the capacity to carry the present day flows that have increased due
to the urbanization. The result is severe flooding that impacts Bradley Boulevard near Howell Road. As seen in the
pictures below, the flooding is a danger to all users of the road and particularly damaging to the home at 6500
Bradley. The homeowners have been in contact with SHA over the course of the last several years trying to work out a
solution. A field review by SHA in the Spring of 2019 proposed a solution to the flooding problems, but proposal was
cost prohibitive and did not proceed.
Goldsboro Road Erosion

 The is a large sinkhole in the shoulder of Goldsboro Road (MD 614) that is causing drainage issues, as well as
presenting a hazard to road users. It is believed that the sinkhole is caused by the Minnehaha Branch eroding
under Goldsboro Road. In March 2020, SHA said they've been aware of the slope erosion at this location along
MD 614 Goldsboro Road within SHA right of way. SHA D3 maintenance staff were able to install some temporary
stabilization measures. SHA initiated a slope stabilization projects that is currently in concept design stages, but
unfortunately at the moment not funded for construction due to the lack of funding. In the below picture please
note the gap between the walkway and the protective barrier, the steepness of the drop off, and the way that
the ground directly under the pavement has eroded away.

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