OCEAN CITY — State Highway Administration (SHA) District Engineer Donnie Drewer and Assistant District Engineer Dallas Baker came before the Mayor and City Council to present an update on various topics, including Route 90 dualization, safety and improvement projects, the Route 50 Bridge, planned Route 90 repaving for next week and Coastal Highway repaving.
According to Drewer, there is no change as far as the dualization of Route 90 being included in the State Consolidated Transportation Program.
The Town of Ocean City had previously encouraged the Worcester County Commissioners and SHA to place the Route 90 dualization project on the local priority list with Routes 113 and 589 and the Route 50 Bridge. In fact, Mayor Rick Meehan authored a letter to the county in late 2013 requesting Route 90 dualization leapfrog the Route 50 Bridge work as the third highest priority.
Drewer had little to report on that prospect this week.
“There is new administration being put in place, and I would think their agenda will develop in upcoming months,” he said.
SHA is scheduled to come before the Ocean City Transportation Committee in May to present the Coastal Highway Community Safety and Enhancement Project. At that time, the committee will direct SHA with a recommendation on what construction items to move forward with in requesting the Mayor and City Council’s approval.
As far as the ongoing Baltimore Avenue Pedestrian Improvement Project and “bump outs,” which is where the end of a sidewalk will be extended out into the parking lane granting the pedestrian better site to see on oncoming cars and giving drivers better visibility of pedestrians trying to cross the road, construction from 9th to 15th streets is in progress and is on schedule to be completed by mid-May without interfering scheduled events.
The installation of a pedestrian crossing signal on 101st Street near the Clarion Hotel is on cue for July 1. However, Drewer asked the council if it would prefer for the project to hold off until after the summer season as it will interfere with traffic for at least four weeks.
The council voted unanimously to postpone the installation of the pedestrian signal on 101st Street to October.
A light to be installed above the pedestrian crossing signal on 49th Street in front of Seacrets is on schedule to be completed prior to Memorial Day weekend.
There are three corners left in Ocean City where ADA improvements are being made. Those locations are the northwest corner of 67th Street, the south bound side of 48th Street and the south bound side of 45th Street.
Drewer added there are also repairs and pavement markings to be refreshed due to snow plow damage.
Repairs to the Route 50 draw bridge are on schedule to be completed by next week.
“The past several weeks we have had a construction crew on site to reinforce all forms of machinery supports and beams in the draw span. These repairs will prevent the issue that occur last summer and its major traffic impact. These repairs are nearly complete with only one location remaining to retrofit,” Drewer said.
Coastal Highway from Route 90 to the Delaware line is on schedule to be repaved going in both directions starting March 2016 to be completed by May 2016.
Drewer added the section of Route 90 between the two bridges will have to be repaved immediately because friction numbers showed it is slippery when wet. Paving will start Monday, April 20 and will last three days.
The project extends three-quarters of a mile from the St. Martin River Bridge to the Assawoman Bay Bridge. The work should be finished on Wednesday evening, April 22, weather dependent. The resurfacing work will be conducted each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The $225,000 road resurfacing project will be performed by American Infrastructure MD, Inc. of Fallston. Motorists should expect single lane closures on Route 90 during the project hours Monday through Wednesday.
SHA will use flaggers, variable message signs cones, arrow panels, and traffic cones to guide motorists through the work zone. The resurfacing work will improve safety and overall pavement conditions on Route 90 in both directions.