The Washington County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to award a $1,569,768 construction contract for the rehabilitation of Devil's Backbone Dam to C. William Hetzer Inc. of Hagerstown.
Hetzer submitted the lowest of four bids for the project, Deputy Director of Public Works Robert J. Slocum said.
The project includes rehabilitation of the county-owned stone dam on Antietam Creek near Boonsboro, stabilization of eroded stream banks near the dam and other improvements.
Silt material will be removed from behind the dam, a reinforced concrete dam will be built behind the existing dam and the existing stone masonry will be reconstructed to maintain its historical appearance, Slocum said.
Work on the project is scheduled to begin June 1 and continue through Nov. 27, Slocum said.
Traffic on Md. 68 will be detoured for 45 days during a stream-bank restoration and roadwork phase of the project, he said.
The commissioners agreed to include in the project a series of additional improvements to Devil's Backbone Park recommended by members of the Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance, including provisions for canoe access, a historical plaque and planting of additional trees and meadow grass in the park.
Those additional improvements made up about $40,000 of the total contract award.
They were offered as an "olive branch" to a group that lobbied for the county to remove the dam altogether for environmental reasons, instead of repairing it, Slocum said.
"To that end, I think $40,000 pales in comparison to the expenses we would have seen had we removed the dam," he said.
The dam-removal option was estimated to cost $2.6 million, Slocum said in July.
The contract also includes about $360,000 worth of stream-bank repairs along Md. 68, which will be funded by the State Highway Administration, Slocum said.
The total construction cost including the contract, inspection costs and a contingency is estimated at about $1.75 million, Slocum said.
The county's budget for the construction was about $1.16 million, but will be supplemented by the state highway funds, $216,000 in state Program Open Space funds and $24,000 from the county's stream restoration budget, he said.
The other bids submitted for the project were:
- $1,678,062 by Joseph B. Fay Co. of Baltimore
- $1,957,698 by Environmental Quality Resources of Arbutus, Md.
- $2,024,351 by Building Systems Inc. of Baltimore, Md.