Howard County Executive Calvin Ball cut the ribbon on the largest public works project in Ellicott City to date, which is designed to prevent storm water from reaching Historic Ellicott City during major weather events.

The H-7 pond, constructed on State Highway Administration land in a clover-leaf interchange at the intersection of Route 29 and Route 40/Baltimore National Pike, in Ellicott City, can hold enough runoff to cover a football field to the height of 10 feet. While it will typically remain dry, it has the capacity to hold 4.24 million gallons of water, restricting its flow into the Tiber River watershed in Historic Ellicott City.

The project cost $5.3 million to build, $4 million of which came from state funding. It was finished four months ahead of a projected completion date. In addition to creating the retention area, 110 trees and 1,800 native plants were planted. The total anticipated investment of county, state and federal dollars in Ellicott City to $167 million in the past four years, which is $138 million higher than during the previous four-year period.

“This pond is the first major public works project to be completed through our Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan and is one of the largest and most important projects in the history of Howard County,” said Ball. “While we can never eliminate the risk of flooding, we can do all we can to reduce the toll of devastating storms. We are making Ellicott City a national model of resilience.”