St. Michaels Invests in Community Enhancements

Over the past several months, the Town of St. Michaels, Maryland has made immense strides in making their community a safer and a more aesthetically pleasing place with their recent improvements to the area. Some improvements included a Safe Routes to School initiative, as well as the reconstruction of the West Chew Avenue Watermen’s dock.

As a part of a statewide Safe Routes to School initiative, St. Michaels sought the assistance of Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc. (DBF), to establish safer walking areas leading through the Talbot County Schools. Multi-use trails were needed to connect three schools and the newly constructed YMCA located adjacent to the sidewalk. With funds from the Maryland State Highway Administration “Transportation Enhancement Program,” the Town was able to provide connectivity through Talbot County school properties to the existing Seymour Avenue and Talbot Street sidewalks. These 10’wide trails were designed to provide pedestrians and bicyclists easy access handicap accessibility, and to restrict vehicular access to improve the safety of the students and pedestrians going to and from school.

In addition to the new walkways, newly painted crosswalks and warning signs were added in all of the areas where the trails would cross vehicular traffic. The existing drainage system was also modified to enhance stormwater runoff quality to meet “Best Management Practices” to the maximum extent practicable.

DBF provided topographic survey, design development, stormwater management, sediment and erosion and control measures, as well as bidding assistance and construction administration for the overall Safe Routes to School Project.

The town also identified the need for improvement and upgrades to the West Chew Avenue Waterman’s dock due to the aging and undersized facility. The Town was able to obtain funding from the Maryland Chesapeake and Coastal Services Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the upgrades and improvements. DNR provided the concept plan and identified the need to dredge the area to provide the adequate depth for local watermen to use. A portion of the existing pier was removed and replaced with a new pier and timber barrier to prevent seafood vehicles from going past the main pier. Safety ladders, mooring rope hooks and cleats were also added to facilitate docking in these slips.

In addition to the improvements to the main pier, the town also constructed a separate pier that includes a fixed dock, gangway and floating portion, incorporating a launch area for canoes, kayaks and dinghys. The gangway was provided to allow for fluctuations in tide levels, which are experienced at San Domingo Creek and to provide a safe transition from the fixed pier to the floating pier.

“Improving and maintaining our docks and waterways are so important to us as it is a way of life not only on the Eastern Shore, but to the many watermen in St. Michaels and the surrounding areas,” shared DBF Project Manager, Ken Eaton.

DBF provided construction documents for the realigning of the boat slips, a dredging plan and provided sufficient lengths and widths of boats that are currently using the facility.

Davis, Bowen & Friedel, Inc., is a full-service architectural, engineering, and surveying firm with offices in Salisbury and Easton, Maryland, and in Milford, Delaware. Coastal engineering is a specialized service provided in-house for shoreline, docks and marine-related projects. For additional information about DBF, visit