The Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) recently honored the Ellicott City Flood: Initial Response and Recovery Project with two awards at the organization’s 25th annual conference earlier this month, which was held at the Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland. KCI’s work was recognized with the County Engineers Association of Maryland’s 2018 Award of Excellence (projects over $5 Million) and the MdQI 2018 Project of the Year Award (projects over $5 Million). John Hudacek joined Howard County to accept the award on behalf of construction program manager John Furman, structural project manager Bob Lynch and the entire KCI team.
The Ellicott City flood of 2016 was a devastating event. On July 30, a train of slow-moving storm cells dumped six inches of rain on the historic mill town in Howard County, Maryland. The resulting floods took two lives and left catastrophic debris and damage behind. More than 100 downtown businesses were displaced, and 11 buildings were left beyond repair.
KCI supported the emergency rebuilding efforts in two ways—as a partner in the oversight effort to coordinate and schedule repairs, manage contractors, and interface with agencies; and also as a design-build responder responsible for design and construction of damaged retaining walls along Hudson Branch.
The response effort involved passionate team players from the entire region helping to investigate, inspect, analyze, design and repair the $12 million in damages. Public works crews focused initially on stabilizing critical infrastructure. Construction repairs were required for roads, utilities, culverts, sidewalks, traffic signals, and fiber optic cabling, along with building cleanout and cleaning of drain lines. Ad hoc and back-of-the-envelope solutions helped expedite recovery.
Working together, construction recovery efforts were completed to meet the aggressive goal of safely reopening the town to the public on September 20, 2016, less than two months after the flood. With critical infrastructure restored, rebuilding continued over the following months, and our team supported the county, the town, and its residents and businesses by providing geotechnical, engineering, design, permitting and construction inspection services for the rehabilitation and replacement of four stone masonry walls as part of a design build team with HTI.