Watchdog: several weeks later, several fixes

This week, Watchdog updates several problems that were still unresolved at the time they were first reported.

Update: Clipper Mill Road has reopened to traffic after months of delays.

Regular Watchdog readers might recall our first reports about stalled construction at this site, where a backhoe had lingered for so long it might have been considered abandoned.

As mentioned previously, the work to repair a collapsed storm drain began in June but was complicated by the discovery that it was located beneath a 4-foot sanitary sewer main.

"We didn't want to break one as we were removing the other," said Department of Public Works spokesman Kurt Kocher. "It was a little bit delicate."

Work stopped for months while engineers planned the best course of action. The last estimate was that construction would be completed by the end of February — barring weather delays. That worst-case scenario happened, with back-to-back snowstorms.

"You had snow weather delays and you had rain weather delays," Kocher said.

The road officially opened April 9.

Update: The deep hole on Elmwood Road in Roland Park has been fixed, Kocher added. The hole — site of a collapsing storm drain — had been left uncovered for weeks.

DPW officials had switched from using wood to cover holes left during repair extensions or backlogs to metal plates, which are more secure and can better withstand the weight of vehicle traffic. But for smaller holes such as this one, plates needed to be specially cut.

Plating a hole is time-consuming, however. "Right now, a crew can only do one a day," Kocher said.

The hole received its plate, and as of Thursday, the collapsing drain had been repaired, he said.

Update: The fence that bothered pedestrians walking on Charles Street north of North Avenue was removed from the lot after Watchdog got on the case.

At the time, the fence blocked the sidewalk on the west side of the street. Now the fence has returned — but this time it doesn't block the sidewalk.

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