Project Description

Human & Rohde, Inc. prepared the Master Plan for the South Shore Trail (formerly known as the WB & A Trail) and was contracted to prepare the Construction Documents for Phase 1 and provide construction administrative services. This trail follows the alignment of the old WB & A railroad bed between Bestgate Road in Parole and Odenton where it connects to the West County Trail. The trail will continue through Annapolis to the B & A Trail. In preparing the Master Plan, Human & Rohde Inc. identified existing conditions (right of way, property ownership, topography, vegetation, utilities, road crossings, drainage and soils), proposed a trail alignment, developed the technical design, identified the development impacts and approvals and permits required, developed a phasing plan, and prepared cost estimates.

The Construction Documents for Phase 1 prepared by Human & Rohde covered a distance of approximately 1.8 miles beginning at a proposed trailhead and parking lot near the intersection of Route 3 and Millersville Road and ending at Waterbury Road near Route 97 to the east. The majority of the trail is within the old WB & A Railroad right-of-way that the County now owns and that is shared with BGE. The scope of work involved delineating the wetlands and obtaining approvals from MDE, preparing a site plan and layout plan for the trail and two parking lots, designing the details for the trail construction to AASHTO and SHA Bicycle Design Standards, preparing plans for the storm water management mitigation as well as overall landscaping to comply with the Anne Arundel County Landscape Manual, and preparing cost estimates at various stages of design. An alternative trail alignment which involved obtaining land from adjacent property owners and extensive retaining walls was explored and adopted to minimize impacts to wetlands and reduce costs. Human & Rohde also prepared sketches for the layout of the parking lot at the Board of Education property as the project progressed and designed the trailheads at the west and east ends of Phase 1.

The original plan called for a pedestrian bridge over Waterbury Road. However, poor soil conditions dramatically increased costs for the abutments and trail approaches, so the bridge was replaced in the design with an on-grade crossing in an effort to reduce construction costs. A traffic study was then performed to determine a design that would provide a safe crossing and resulted in the preparation of road improvement plans to provide adequate road sight distances from both approaches.

The design also required considerable coordination with BGE in order to comply with vertical and horizontal clearance requirements for their transmission lines, poles and underground utilities within the trail corridor. This resulted in adjustments to the landscape plans whereby proposed major shade trees had to be relocated or replaced with minor deciduous trees due to overhead clearance and proximity issues. Access to the trail by BGE maintenance vehicles also necessitated a redesign of the pavement section for the trail to minimize damage and maintenance.

Phase I of the Trail was an earmarked Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) project with the Maryland State Highway Administration. Human & Rohde provided support to the County throughout this process. Extensive coordination with MD SHA was necessary to ensure the design complied with all State requirements.

Construction of Phase 1 was completed in 2019 at a cost of approximately $3 million.

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