Muddy Lane Restoration Project

Muddy Lane Restoration Project (Elkton, Maryland)

The beginning….
At the start of this project Muddy Lane, a roadway between Interstate-95 and Red Hill Road in Elkton Maryland, stood as a littered and vandalized roadway that continued to degrade each year. The railway bridge that extends over Muddy Lane was covered in hateful graffiti along with the abutment walls of the bridge, and the drainage ditches were consistently filled with discarded trash. The bridge was constantly being run into by tall box trucks despite clear signage explaining the 11 foot clearance.  
The Progress….
Since 2016, several milestones of the project have been successful. In November 2017 the abutment walls of the bridge were painted white by the Cecil County Roads Division to cover the graffiti. Throughout 2018 and 2019 several “Trash Bash” events were held to clean up the heavily littered areas under and around the Muddy Lane bridge. In January of 2020 Amtrak painted the bridge beams with a two-tone yellow and black pattern and the abutment walls bright yellow to discourage additional bridge strikes and to cover graffiti on beams, solving two problems at once. Additionally, brush and trees were cleared from around the bottom of the bridge. We will continue monitoring the roadway for any additional safety issues that need to be addressed in the future.

The Future….
Please help us raise additional funds for our 2020 and 2021 Trash Bash events. We offer food and drinks to our volunteers as a thank you for coming to clean up the liter from the roadway. We rely on donations from supporters like you to continue this effort annually.

Why Does This Project Matter?
While we understand that there may be other projects that need attention in the town of Elkton, we also feel that is our responsibility as leaders in our community to help where we can with what we can. Many have expressed that they feel there are more pressing issues in Elkton to deal with, such as drugs and crime. While we don’t disagree, we also believe that change occurs through small steps, not huge leaps. One citizen, one project at a time, things will get better. Let us focus on the projects that we can accomplish, then celebrate our victories, no matter how small they may seem at first. Over time, with multiple wins, the community will get better.

Full Progress Report (2[phone redacted])
Feb 2016 – Contacted Cecil County Public Works Dept. and advised them of the graffiti on the abutment walls and the beams, as well as the liter problems on the roadway. Received response with information as to the ownership of the roadway and bridge at that time (CSX).
Jun 2017 – Contacted Public Projects Manager of CSX and advised of the graffiti concerns on the bridge beams. Received response from CSX stating that Amtrak is the owner of this railway beam. Contacted Amtrak and placed a formal case file for the graffiti on the beams of the bridge. Contacted Director of Cecil County Public Works Department regarding the graffiti on the abutment walls of the bridge. Started a GoFundMe campaign to raise awareness and begin a funding campaign.
Aug 2017 – Contacted Amtrak as follow up. Received response going over the guidelines and requesting an artist’s design to submit for approval.
Oct 2017 – Contacted Cecil County Public Works Dept. and Cecil County Roads Division as follow up regarding the graffiti on the abutment walls of the bridge.
Nov 2017 – Received word from Cecil County Roads Division that the abutment walls had been painted white.
Jan 2018 – Online petition created regarding the bridge beams.  
Feb 2018 – Officially adopted Muddy Lane through the Cecil County Adopt-A-Roadway program. Contacted local artist and commissioned mural design and received quote for labor and materials. Submitted artist's mural design to Amtrak. Cecil Whig published a story about the project.  []

Mar 2018 – Contacted Keep America Beautiful regarding the project. KAB affiliate program application submitted.
Apr 2018 – Trash Bash Event #1 (large group)
May 2018 – Trash Bash Event #2 (small group). Amtrak’s review process at 70% completion.
Jun 2018 – Contacted Cecil County Arts Council and Maryland State Police to request funding for the project. Received response from Cecil County Arts Council requesting participation from a Maryland artist. Reached out to several Maryland based artists to gauge interest for the project. Received no response from Maryland State Police.

Sep 2018 – Received license agreement from Amtrak which included details regarding property use requirements.
Nov 2018 – Trash Bash Event #3 (small group)
Dec 2018 – Trash Bash Event #4 (small group)
Mar 2019 – Contacted Cecil County Roads Division regarding a need for signage to discourage littering and to advise of fallen speed signs along the roadway.
May 2019 – Trash Bash Event #5 (large group). Signage issues addressed by Cecil County Roads Division.
Aug 2019 – Trash Bash Event #6 (small group).
Jan 2020 – Amtrak painted bridge beams with two-tone yellow and black pattern and abutment walls yellow to discourage additional bridge strikes by tall vehicles and to cover graffiti on beams, solving two problems at once. Additionally brush and trees were cleared from around the bottom of the bridge.  
Apr 2020 – Trash Bash Event #7 (large group); Scheduling in progress…

Money Raised
-$18.71 (2.9% GoFundMe Platform Fee)
-$2.70 ($0.30 Per Transaction Fee x 9)
$623.59 Raised
Thank you for your generous donations!

Money Spent
$400.00 - Commission Artist Design by Wish Unlimited
$79.11 - Additional safety vests, gloves and pickup tools for volunteers (April 2018)
$89.98 - Food & drinks for Volunteers; Trash Bash Event #1 (Apr 2018)
$89.98 - Food & drinks for Volunteers; Trash Bash Event #5 (May 2019)
$0.00 - Trash bags, safety vests, and 1 road sign provided by County Roads Division
$0.00 - Tent and other supplies provided by Zionkowski Volunteer Group
$659.07 Spent
$35.48 Over
$-35.48 Remaining

Bridge Progress

2016 - Project Initiated (Graffiti on beams and abutment walls).
2017 - Abutment walls cleaned and painted. 
2020 - Bridge beams and walls painted, and brush cleared. 

Trash Bash Events

Trash Bash - April 2018

Trash Bash - May 2018

Trash Bash - May 2019


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Jay Zionkowski 
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