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Shipley's Choice Dam Rehabilitation

Project Background:

The Shipley's Choice Dam is a 20 ft high earthen embankment constructed in 1980 to create an instream stormwater management pond for the Shipley's Choice subdivision.  In 2006, an enlarged wet area was discovered on the dam's downstream slope prompting emergency corrective work.Further engineering evaluations determined that long term repairs would not be effective.  

  • Remove dam and provide stable stream system along Bear Branch.  
  • Replacement of 66" culvert pipe undeneath W. Benefield Rd.
  • Closure of W. Benfield Rd. between Pixie Drive and Severnside Dr.
  • Removal of dam embankment.
  • Monitoring stream segments that are below and above the dam area.
  • Rehabilitation of the entire Bear Branch stream segment (next phase)
  • Protection from potential property damage.
  • Bear Branch restoration will mimic the pre-development conditions.
  • Allows fish passage under W. Benfield and extends Bear Creek fish passage to north of Benfield Boulevard.
  • Reduce sediment flow to the Severn River.
Project Manager:
Larry Mathena
Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT)
Project Investment:
$5.4 million
Notice to Proceed:
May 2018
Completion Date:
Fall 2019
Project Updates:

Update January 2018

The project design is 99% complete.  Construction start for culvert improvements along West Benfield Road is anticipated in June 2018.  Removal of the existing dam should begin in early 2019.  

Update May 2017

The project design is 95% complete and is currently in the permitting process.  Construction notice to proceed for removal of the existing dam and culvert improvements is anticipated for the summer of 2017.

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