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Project resumes after search for cemetery


The search for a historic cemetery believed to have been in the path of a road being built in Columbia Hills has turned up no evidence of an existing burial ground, so the road construction can resume, a State Highway Administration spokesman says.

"We didn't find anything," Chuck Brown, the SHA spokesman, said last week. That means that SHA workers can prepare the bed for a mile-long, two-lane access road from Sybert Drive to Long Gate Parkway in Ellicott City.

The $1.3 million projectbegan last month and includes a 303-space park-and-ride facility.

Construction of the road through the area was halted when a concerned resident told a state engineer that the construction might disturb a cemetery that he believes is more than 100 years old.

The SHA immediately halted construction work behind South Leisure Court while a team of SHA archaeologists conducted tests to determine if the cemetery actually existed in the area neighbors had claimed.

But archaeological tests of the soil didn't find evidence of a gravesite. "It is the belief of the archaeologist that there was a cemetery. . .but that it was destroyed during development of the community then," Mr. Brown said.

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