The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan will enable Howard County to upgrade water infrastructure in Ellicott City and protect its Main Street from flooding.

“As our country increasingly faces extreme weather events due to climate change, Ellicott City is leading the way in repairing the damage from the past and making cities safer for the future,” said congressman John Sarbanes. “With state and federal dollars – like the funds announced today – and local engagement and collaboration, the North Tunnel will reduce flooding, protect residents and businesses and preserve this community’s rich history for generations to come.”

Howard County is implementing its Ellicott City Safe and Sound Plan after the city experienced several devastating 1,000-year floods between 2016 and 2018. The plan’s projects will reduce the impact of flooding by providing resilient infrastructure, managing stream debris, and increasing green space. The measures include construction of a tunnel that will intercept stormwater from the Hudson Branch to the Patapsco River.

The 5.4m diameter tunnel, which will run parallel to Main Street at depths of up to 30.5m, will carry 118,200 litres of stormwater per second away from the city’s streets.