Heavy haul will not pass through Pinefield
Roll-Lift looks to other avenues to transport equipment for Brandywine plant construction
Despite the initial concerns that no one from the county government would hear their plea, the voices of the Pinefield Civic Association and the citizens they represent have been heard.
Charles County Commissioner Amanda Stewart (D) announced via a Facebook Post on April 7 that Roll Lift Inc. would “not be permitted” to pass through Pinefield with a heavy load weighing more than 1 million pounds.
“I am pleased to announce that staff has contacted the company and the large haul will not be permitted to pass through our neighborhood,” Stewart said via Facebook.
Roll-Lift, a heavy load carrying company based in Houston, completed a feasibility study in Pinefield to determine if the route would be compatible with its load of equipment going into Prince George’s County for the construction of the Keyes Power Plant in Brandywine.
U.S. 301 was the original path the company was going to take, Rick Drew, a project manager for Roll-Lift, said, but he said the company was told by the state that taking U.S. 301 would lead
to traffic and safety issues, plus the Mattawoman and Timothy Branch bridges would both need to be supplemented each time the load crossed over.
The load, which is 20 feet long, would have been brought up from the Aqualand Marina through U.S. 301 up to Mattawoman-Beantown Road. After making a right on Mattawoman-Beantown Road, the trucks would turn left on Pinefield Road until they made a left on Pinewood Drive. From there, the load would have went to St. Peter’s Church Road until it reached Prince George’s County.
Though the route may have worked, Drew said, Roll-Lift is not in the county to be a bad neighbor. They were working through a state mandate and were looking for alternative routes to get to their destination.
Drew said during his last conversations with Charles County, he was told by county officials that they would not be permitted to drive through Pinefield. Ultimately, Drew said, the company has to respect their wishes.
“As far as making any other efforts to go through the neighborhood, we will honor the neighborhood’s request,” Drew said.
Now, Drew said, the company is performing feasibility studies along other routes and trying to find other ways to get into Prince George’s County. He said Roll-Lift will have to meet with the state and the county to find alternate routes suitable for its load that will not damage surrounding communities.
Joe Sobnosky, the president of the Pinefield Civic Association, said he is happy to hear that the county will not allow Roll-Lift to come through Pinefield. Sobnosky said he and other community members had concerns that the load’s weight could lead to infrastructure problems in years to come long after the load passes through.
Despite the assurance of the load not coming through the community, Sobnosky said he still has concerns something like this can happen again — not only in Pinefield, but in other areas around the county
“Just talking to other people, it seems like the county didn’t know anything about it. It seems that there’s a possibility, with the way the system works, is that you don’t necessarily have to let the people know,” Sobnosky said.