ELLICOTT CITY, MD - Howard County Department of Public Works (DPW) will hold a community outreach meeting to discuss the Ellicott City North Tunnel project on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at 6:00 p.m., at the Roger Carter Recreation Center, 3000 Milltowne Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. The North Tunnel Project is a key element of Ball’s Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan. The project is scheduled to commence construction in summer 2024, and weather permitting, is anticipated to be completed in late 2027.

The North Tunnel is an approximately 5,500-foot-long, 18-foot-diameter tunnel with its upstream end located on the north side of Frederick Road, approximately 500 feet east of Papillon Drive, and its downstream end located at the Patapsco River shoreline, approximately 500 feet north of Main Street.

In December 2018, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced the Ellicott City Safe & Sound Plan, a comprehensive plan to mitigate the effects of flash flooding in Historic Ellicott City, MD. The four focus areas of the Safe and Sound Plan are ensuring public safety, supporting business and property owners, maintaining Ellicott City’s historic charm, and developing a more inclusive, community-driven process. The Safe and Sound Plan was developed with the goal of most effectively reducing the amount of water on Main Street and the West End in response to the devastating floods in 2011, 2016 and 2018.

In consultation with its teams of experts in hydraulics and hydrology, DPW analyzed many potential projects to mitigate flash flooding. As a result of that analysis, DPW has been progressing seven individual flood mitigation projects that work collectively as a system incorporating both storm water retention facilities and conveyance system improvements.   

The North Tunnel is one of two water conveyance projects. The project will collect storm water at several locations and transport the water through a series of subterranean conveyance elements to the Tunnel, ultimately discharging water into the Patapsco River. When complete, the Tunnel is expected to have the capacity to move approximately 26,000 gallons of water per second underneath Ellicott City and away from Main Street.

Since the launch of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan in December 2018, Howard County has made significant progress to implement flood mitigation measures. This includes the completion of two major flood mitigation ponds, the H-7 and Quaker Mill ponds, which have the combined capacity to hold more than 7.5 million gallons of water during severe storms. Additionally, Howard County has installed high ground signage and access gates throughout Main Street, as well as an outdoor tone alert system that provides critical early notice to residents when a flood is imminent. Finally, the County established a comprehensive debris cleaning program to remove debris from waterways in and around Ellicott City. Since the program launch, DPW and Howard EcoWorks have initiated 22 removal events and cleared more than 89,000 pounds of debris from local stream channels.

For questions or more information, contact Public Works Customer Service at 410-313-3440 or email publicworks@howardcountymd.gov.

Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications
Kedrick McIntye, Chief of Engagement and Communications

Stay Connected!

Sign up for the County Executive's weekly newsletter and stay up to date on everything Howard County.

Zip Code