Restoration Project Taking Place Behind Cambridge Hall

As most of us may have noticed and for those who have not, there is an area located behind Cambridge Hall and the Bobcat Apartments that is being developed, which has raised a plethora of questions from the FSU community After weeks of investigating, The Bottom Line finally has an answer from Mike Garner from the Maryland Bureau of Mines.

According to Garner, the area is not being developed, but it is an “abondoned mine reclamation project” due to a landslide that caused a sewer line to break and an eroded stream.
Garner says in 2005 there was a major flood, which caused the landslide and the breakage of the sewer line and spill into the stream. When the sewer line broke, raw sewage contaminated the stream.

For situations like this, the Maryland Deparrtment of Environment initiated the Abondoned Mine Program, which helped start this current project on the FSU property.
The landslide was not really a surprise since it was one of the old “surface mines in the 1950s,” according to Garner. He says, “there were different regulations back then,” regarding the environment.

As you can assume in order to prevent future landslides, something needed to be done. The restoration project is focused on two separate phases. Phase 1, which was completed several years ago and included relocating the sewer line and phase 2 which included reclaiming the stream and stabilizing it.

Garner describes Phase 2 as an “extensive, permissive process,” which explains why it has taken so much time. With Phase 2 focusing on preventing future landslides and broken sewer lines, it is easy to understand why it’s been an 18-month process.
When Phase 1 was completed, the sewer like was moved 60 feet north of the stream. The sewer line was placed at a distance so it would not be strongly damaged if there were to be another landslide in the near future.

When the sewer line was relocated, Garner says a manhole was “eliminated” as well. Garner describes this project as a way to “improve the streams and sewer line. Garner also says it is a way to “prevent erosion.” A new structure for the stream is also being developed and Garner says it “enhances the stream for the aquatics habitat.” The structure in the stream is characterized as a “geomorphic stream design,” which Garner says would be great for the fish and insects living in the stream.

Although, the project is still in progress, at least FSU students and members of the community can rest easy knowing that the project is beneficial for the environment.

Next week, Garner will show Bottom Line reporters around the area for some pictures and a better idea of what is going on with the project. For more information, contact Mike Garner at his office at 301-689-1460.0

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