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Howard County Middle Patuxent Environmental Area Site Improvements. Columbia, Maryland.

Trailhead improvements for Howard County Recreation and Parks are being designed.

Site improvements at a trailhead of the MPEA will include a comfort station and storage/office buildings, landscaping, trail head improvements, parking, a vehicle loop, signage, and utilities. WRA worked closely with the MPEA Board and Howard County Recreation and Parks to develop an environmentally sensitive layout to preserve as many trees as possible and provide an educational site to demonstrate environmentally sensitive development for the citizens of Howard County. Environmental site design improvements included porous concrete parking and drive aisles (reinforced with a fiber mesh for bus traffic), rain barrels, and educational rain gardens. WRA will also assist the County with the advertisement of the project to prospective bidders as well as providing construction period services.

Project Highlights

Civil/Land Development

Design for grading, drainage, utility services, and site improvements as well as SWM and erosion and sediment control and associated permitting efforts were included in the project. Submittals to the County included a revised FDP plan, wavier petitions, and an SDP.


A comfort station and storage/office building were designed. The comfort station design was based on a pre-manufactured unit while the storage/office building design was based on a stick-built, one-story, masonry structure with siding and a pitched roof.


HVAC and plumbing systems were designed for the pre-manufactured comfort station and stick-built storage/office building.


WRA electrical designers provided detailed load letter and coordinated with BGE in providing the electrical and lighting infrastructure for the new building and comfort station.


The slab design for the pre-manufactured comfort station and structural components associated with the storage/office building was designed. Exterior mechanical and electrical equipment slabs were also included.


Environmental scientists conducted fieldwork to identify existing forest cover to develop a forest stand delineation and wetland/stream delineation to determine existing restrictions associated with tree removal and stream buffer impacts. Forest conservation calculations were also included in the efforts.


A subsurface investigation was conducted and foundation recommendations were made. Project included design associated with the porous concrete parking areas. The use of porous pavers was also explored.