White Flint has its full share of public utility responsibilities, particularly when it comes to providing water to the surrounding area. There is the huge water tower on the Lutrell property just south of Nicholson Lane, which also carries one of those enormous 5-foot diameter concrete water pipelines. This pipeline, which is the same age and construction as the one which failed and flooded River Road last year, had a slight . . . glitch a few months ago, as a sinkhole (bigger than a pothole) developed under Tilden Lane (which is the western extension of Nicholson Lane after it crosses Old Georgetown Rd.).
Now a new WSSC “Bi-County Water Tunnel” is being bored down Tuckerman Lane, and connecting up to one in Rock Creek Park at Stoneybrook and Beach Drives. This is an even bigger pipeline than the one under Nicholson Lane: 7 feet across. The pipeline, which will serve Prince Georges County, has been in planning since 2004, and the WSSC has a section on its website explaining the project: http://www.wsscwater.com/Bi-CountyWaterTunnelJuly2009.pdf.
The project map shows the tunnel essentially following the 270 spur, which will take it south of the White Flint Sector boundaries, but near a variety of White Flint communities. The tunnel will be 200′ below ground, in part to minimize community disruptions. The WSSC notes that dust and noise will be problems and helpfully adds: “Noise and vibration from blasting activities at the shaft will be noticed by the adjoining community. Nearby residents will be notified of these activities and construction will comply with all blasting regulations.”
It appears construction is about to begin at Old Farm Creek, north of Tuckerman Lane and east of 270. Crews had half the road blocked yesterday, and today WSSC sent out a warning letter announcing the beginning of this phase of construction.