BERLIN – The arrival of fall in the resort area typically coincides with the arrival of a maze of orange cones and barrels in the resort area and this year will be no different with a couple of substantial repaving projects underway along the busy Route 50 corridor.
The State Highway Administration (SHA) this week began the first of two repaving projects along Route 50 in Worcester County on the eastbound side of the highway from the Wicomico County line to Route 346 just west of Berlin. According to SHA officials, the resurfacing of the five-mile stretch should be completed by the end of October, setting the stage for the second leg of the project.
When the first section is completed, SHA will embark on the second phase of the Route 50 repaving project nearer and dearer to area residents. The second phase includes resurfacing both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 50 from Herring Creek to the Sinepuxent Bay, which obviously includes the entire West Ocean City area. The second section should be completed by the end of November.
SHA officials said this week motorists should expect single-lane closures along Route 50 within the project limits between sunrise and sunset on Monday through Friday. SHA will use the familiar orange cones and barrels along with signage to guide motorists through the work zones.
While there is likely no great time to do the combined $2.1 million repaving project on Route 50, the fall and winter months are typically targeted for obvious reasons, according to SHA District Engineer Donnie Drewer.
“It’s the only time we can get in there and get anything done,” he said this week. “We have to make hay while the sun shines. We realize it’s not the best situation for everybody, but this time of year is better than the alternative.”
Drewer said the multiple repaving projects should be completed on time, although he would not commit to a firm complete date.
“We’re kind of at the mercy of the weather,” he said ironically on Wednesday before the late week Nor’easter bore down on the resort area. “If we get good weather this fall, we should be able to complete these projects fairly quickly.”
While the repaving projects on Route 50 should be completed later this fall, the second phase of the re-decking of the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge is slated for next spring and will likely create a new set of headaches for area motorists.
The re-decking of the westbound lanes was done last spring resulting in single lanes open to traffic in either direction with barriers in between and the second phase of the project is set to begin in March with a completion date targeted for May.