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County Can’t Afford to Repair Collapsed Road

Two months after the road collapse in Fort Washington, Prince George’s County only has half the money needed to repair Piscataway Drive.

Prince George's County needs $22 million to repair the collapse on Piscataway Drive. Credit: PG County Fire Twitter Feed
Prince George's County needs $22 million to repair the collapse on Piscataway Drive. Credit: PG County Fire Twitter Feed
Some residents of Piscataway Drive in Fort Washington have been out of their homes since May after the road collapsed, and county officials recently said there is not enough money in the budget to make the needed repairs.

If the state of Maryland doesn’t come through, residents might be pushed to sell their homes to the county and permanently vacate them.

Prince George’s County officials say planned repairs will cost $22 million, but they only have half that amount available.

Residents spoke out at a meeting June 30.

Families from 28 homes were evacuated when a section of Piscataway Drive dropped four feet due to “slope failure” caused by heavy rains, according to a previous Patch story. The collapse occurred over the weekend of May 3 and further collapse happened two days later.

A large chunk of earth in the subdivision slid downward, felling trees and buckling the road in the 13000 block of Piscataway Drive, said Scott Peterson, a spokesman for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, told The Washington Post.

The collapse also caused a water main break, Fox DC reports. The county built an above-ground water line for the lower homes, but it is only a temporary solution. The line will freeze in the winter, so time is of the essence.

CBS Baltimore reports the Cullen family has not been able to return home since the incident. They stayed with a neighbor rent free for a month, but that arrangement is ending.

“You don’t really save to have to pay for rent and mortgage at the same time,” Myles Cullen told the TV station.

The Cullens have moved between rental homes since evacuation, according to Fox DC.

With only $11 million of the necessary $22 million, County Executive Rushern Baker told residents at the meeting he planned to request help from Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

“In two weeks, we’re going to come back, we’re going to start evaluating the homes, just in case,” Baker said, according to Fox DC. “We got to move on just in case we don’t get that money.”

The county plans to buy the homes if the rest of the money can’t be obtained, and residents would permanently vacate the area.

“If they want to just get me and my family back in that house and allow us to live there or to have us move on, give us a fair market value and let us turn the page on this thing,” Cullen told Fox DC.
John Cofiell July 08, 2014 at 08:58 AM
Print more money!
Robert Jackson July 11, 2014 at 07:09 AM
PG County needs to find a more reasonable company to do the work. That's a crazy amount of money, they have no idea what they're doing.

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