Tuesday, January 15 – Route 50 Bridge Closes Thursday

OCEAN CITY – The warning signs are everywhere in the area, but the State Highway Administration issued a press release yesterday reminding locals and visitors vehicular traffic on Route 50 will be temporarily detoured to Route 90 beginning Jan. 17.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will close the Route 50 Bridge into Ocean City to traffic on Thursday, Jan. 17. Work is expected to last up to 35 days, though with good weather, the goal is to open the bridge prior to Feb. 15. The repairs will require closing the bridge to vehicular traffic for up to 35 days and to marine traffic and pedestrians for up to 45 days. The marine closure applies only to vessels with a vertical clearance greater than 15 feet.

The closure is necessary to replace the existing bascule span grid decking, sidewalk grid decking and purlins (small beams that support the grid deck) with galvanized decking, which prevents corrosion of the bridge’s steel.

SHA awarded the $1.2 million project to Covington Machine and Welding Inc. of Annapolis. Signs will be displayed along Route 50 from the Bay Bridge to Ocean City at key locations advising motorists to use Route 90 to access Ocean City. Motorists heading east along Route 50 toward Ocean City may use Route 90 10 miles east of Ocean City or continue along Route 50 to Route 589, which also connects with Route 90. Motorists in Ocean City wanting to access Route 50 will be directed along Route 528 (Coastal Highway) to the Route 90 Bridge to Route 589 and back to Route 50.

On the morning of the closure, signal technicians will monitor traffic signals along Route 90 entering Ocean City to insure adequate timing for the anticipated volume of traffic.

To read all the week’s news, see The Dispatch Friday morning.