Benson Road study costs to be billed to CleanBay

Creating back entrance to site will keep manure trucks off Old Princess Anne Road

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PRINCESS ANNE — The impact of increased truck traffic on Benson Road should it become a route for the delivery of poultry litter will be evaluated by two Wicomico County engineering firms at the expense of CleanBay Renewables.

This dead-end road located off Revell’s Neck Road near the U.S. 13 intersection is proposed to be extended along a forested right-of-way owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to CleanBay’s property. This is intended to quell concerns by Old Princess Anne Road residents about increased truck traffic in their neighborhood.

The County Commissioners in December expressed concern about the impact of more trucks in the Revell’s Neck Road area which already receives regular grain deliveries for Mountaire as well as what it ships out by rail. They also discussed the integrity of Benson Road which is part asphalt ending with sand and gravel.

CleanBay proposes to accept the financial burden of the expense for improvements, but county leaders first want the area inspected before entering into an agreement.

Pending concurrence by CleanBay, Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc. of Salisbury will conduct a traffic impact analysis, including an examination of the turning radius for truck movement. The consultants will also examine road use especially during peak hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. This is proposed to cost $10,900.

Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates of Delmar will do soil borings and geotechnical testing to recommend road pavement and design so it will accommodate heavy truck traffic. It will also look at the railroad crossing that serves a siding used by Mountaire. This is an additional $6,990.

“All of these expenses are (CleanBay’s) responsibility and will be billed directly to them,” said Woody Barnes, county roads director, and whatever changes are made to the road will be to county standards.

The commissioners at their Jan. 26 meeting approved the recommendation, with Commissioner Eldon Willing absent.

The arrangement with DNR would involve a land swap of about 5 acres so 3,700 ft. by 60 ft. of right-of-way could be created from the end of Benson Road through to the west side of CleanBay’s property which is 9434 Old Princess Anne Road.

DNR is in favor of the offer because it would reduce the traffic count on Old Princess Anne Road, and truck traffic would be visually screened and the sound abated due to the forested nature of the area. It would also provide additional access to land managed by the state.

Through anaerobic digestion CleanBay plans to convert 150,000 tons of poultry litter per year into methane and fertilizer.