In reference to the Aug, 23 Frederick News-Post article by Ryan Marshall (“City: Progress being made on Monocacy Boulevard Project”), the paper and Mr. Marshall continue to avoid addressing the most important part of this ongoing saga. The article states, “The project has been delayed by issues between the city and project’s Washington D.C.-based contractor, Milani Construction …”

Taxpayers, voters, business owners and drivers simply want to know, what are the “issues”? Why has it taken over two years to improve 3,550 feet of roadway? Are these delays costing the city (and thus taxpayers) additional money? Why was the road completely closed in the first place? How much longer must business owners and commuters suffer economic and time losses? Interview and name the specific city employee(s) who entered into and monitor this contract with Milani. What is causing the delays, and who is responsible?

This “puff” piece singing the city’s and Milani’s praises for a failed project was not only an insult to good journalism but also to News-Post readers who look to the local paper as a government watchdog.

Mark Henry


(17) comments


Excellent letter. FNP reporters need to be more forceful with their questioning of local officials especially in cases like this where large numbers of people and businesses are inconvenienced day after day, week after weeks. Inexcusable.


Me thinks there's a monkey wrench in the gears here. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to have said a "money wrench". It's not unusual for a "minority enterprise", they low ball and then run out of money and cannot finish the job.... Not accusing, just saying....


This is an instance where a contractor should be replaced for meeting even the basics of a contract. Whomever put this together at the city level should be sacked as well. It is obvious that anyone connected to this fiasco is utterly incompetent. Meanwhile, half of the town has to squeeze through from south to north jamming traffic until doomsday. Get your acts together or get the H*** out.


Yeah, how about a little accountability? After nearly two years of traffic nightmares, "The roadway will be opened to traffic once the contractor has brought the work to substantial completion" (per the latest "update" to the city website) is NOT a satisfactory answer. They're LITERALLY saying "It'll be done when it's done." Thanks for the insight, folks. Meantime, anyone can drive by the site during normal hours on a beautiful, dry day and observe a level of urgency and activity that wouldn't look out of place behind the counter at the MVA. What a joke.


Hey, have you been to the Frederick MVA lately? They are actually well-organized, and you can even make an appointment - if you do so at least a month or so in advance.


the MVA/DMV is always people's go-to "government bad!" example, but it's hilarious how out of date and wrong it is. i haven't spent more than a half hour at the MVA in over 20 years. it's insanely well run for the amount they have to do/keep track of

i heart frederick

I agree 100%. I live right by the intersection at Church street, drive by several times a day, and I literally see people working maybe 15% of the time. Its insanely frustrating to know there's zero accountability.


Anyone who has been following this saga knows neither the contractor nor the city are cooperating when it comes to responding to media inquires. Per the Aug. 4, 2019 FNP article, Milani Construction has not replied to calls:

"The city is working through some “issues” with Washington-based contractor Milani Construction, including a more realistic, hard-and-fast schedule for the project, Coleman [deputy director of public works for engineering and operations for the city of Frederick] said.

“As far as opening the road, I can’t give a hard date yet,” she said.

Coleman would not elaborate on what the issues were, and Milani did not return calls seeking comment on Thursday or Friday."

The FNP asked, but no one wants to be forthcoming, So, the reporter did their job. They conveyed the answer that was given, and it's not one that satisfies commuters. And that SHOULD make people angry!

Maybe its time for residents to do theirs: make your voice heard at the next Board of Alderman meeting. There's one tonight (Sept. 5). If that doesn't work, then make your voice heard at the next election.


We should start a "Storm Monocacy Blvd." movement; I hear that gets attention.


Well said, Mark, perfect!


I like this writer. Hire him immediately.


Maybe Mayor Michael can fill us in. I suspect the answers are typical for something like this - there were unexpected and unavoidable cost and time overruns, and the city will have to pay more for the project to be completed. Progress is being made, but we don't have a hard timeline. These things happen.


Mark nailed it. And the news story at hand is the first news story I've seen from the FNP that didn't address the concerns that Mark points out. FNP - get your heads out of your tushies and INFORM us


This city needs new leadership.


Well said - I also take the NYT and the differences in reporting could not be more stark with a "puff" piece like this one...


I'm sure most of the fnp writers turned down offers from the NYT before coming here instead so I'm not sure what point you are making? Topchik retired from a career at the NYT but probably only because he never saw the fnp before moving here.



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