Lawyers Mall Underground Infrastructure

Annapolis, MD

The project is a multi-phased project to replace aged underground infrastructure utility systems (steam, chilled water, water, storm water, gas, electricity, and IT/data telecommunications) that sustain historic state buildings, including the House of Delegates Building and the three buildings (Legislative, State House, and Governor’s House) that make up Lawyer’s Mall.

Originally, the project’s scope of work only included the replacement of the steam system and was to be constructed in 2019. During the design phase, the system experienced multiple steam leaks that prompted emergency measures. We needed to accelerate the design schedule and the start of construction. While designing the replacement of the steam line, MD DGS determined that it would be beneficial to also replace the remaining underground utility systems.

Our team verified utilities, dating back to the late 1700s, by pulling City and State archives, performing field run topos, and underground utility designations. We then further utilized ground penetrating radar to verify utilities and critical locations, and performed test pit verifications to locate existing utilities. By piecing together information gathered, the design team was able to develop an existing utility site plan with accurate information. Ultimately, we were able to hand over accurate state-of-the-art as-built drawings, photos, and video to the owner that will prove invaluable over the life of the new systems in terms of maintenance and future projects.

Lawyer’s Mall is an important gathering place for numerous State functions and special events. In addition to the underground infrastructure the project also included a complete surface restoration of the Mall, including roads, sidewalks, brick pavers, park benches, lighting, and relocating monuments. A new underground snowmelt system was installed to ensure the Mall can remain open to the public year-round.

Part of the process also included filing for permit approval with MDE for erosion and sediment control, and stormwater management. The team worked with both the State Highway Administration, the City of Annapolis, and the State of Maryland to temporarily close portions of Bladen Street and College Avenue, while maintaining continuous flow of traffic. Challenges also included scheduling around the State Legislature sessions, the Naval Academy graduation ceremonies and other events.

This project was awarded a 2022 ACEC/MD Engineering Excellence Award.