OCEAN CITY — State Highway Administration (SHA) contractors yesterday were assessing what caused the Route 50 Bridge to be stuck in the open position for about an hour early Thursday morning, but the preliminary investigation points to an apparent electric issue.
Around 6:43 a.m. on Thursday, SHA’s statewide operations center received a call that the Route 50 Bridge into the south end of Ocean City was stuck in the up position. According to SHA media relations manager David Buck, the problem was a gate issue only an not related to the bridge structure.
“Every morning, the bridge tender tests the bridge with an opening,” he said. “The gates went down, the bridge opened and closed fine, but then the gates would not raise back up. It appears to be an electrical issue somewhere between the panel in the tender house and the gates.”
Buck said as soon as the issue with the bridge was reported at around 6:45 a.m., SHA operations officials immediately put out messages on the overhead electronic signs along Route 50 directing motorists to use Route 90 as an alternate route in Ocean City. Likewise, motorists in Ocean City attempting to access the Route 50 Bridge were directed to use Route 90 as an alternative.
The gates were eventually raised manually and the Route 50 Bridge was reopened for traffic in both directions at around 7:50 a.m. SHA contractors were on the scene on Thursday morning to assess the situation with the gates.