The primary visitor gate into Aberdeen Proving Ground will be closed this weekend as crews seek out and destroy unexploded ordnance near Ruggles Golf Course.
The unexploded ordnance (UXO) survey will take place at the Maryland Pond along MD Route 715. The gate on the road will be closed, while motorists will be able to access APG via MD Route 22.
The visitor center and inspection lane will also be relocated temporarily to MD Route 22.
The alterations will take place on Friday evenings and into the weekend beginning on Oct. 5. The survey will continue for eight weekends, tentatively slated to end Nov. 18.
Rurik Loder, installation restoration program manager, said in a statement: “We realize that this operation may cause some inconvenience as drivers are re-routed from the 715 gate to the 22 gate during these times, but clear signage will be posted to make it as seamless as possible. We will be communicating with our residents, personnel, visitors and local community through a variety of outlets, including the newspaper, media releases and online.”
The area being combed over is west of a series of office developments at the MD Route 715 gate, between the gate and U.S. Route 40.
“Old maps have revealed that the pond borders a former demolition area, so before the area is overly developed, we have to go in and ensure it is clear of ordnance,” Loder said.
Loder said plans are in place to safely dispose of whatever is found.
UXOs can be moved to a nearby range to be detonated, but in some cases may need to be destroyed in place—making the road closure necessary.
"Safety is the top priority," Loder said in the statement. "Community members can be assured that Aberdeen Proving Ground houses the Army’s top talent in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), testing and hazardous material disposal. In all cases, we will side with caution and work closely with our military’s top EOD experts."
Ruggles Golf Course will remain open through the project.
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