OCEAN CITY – The Route 50 Bridge may have reopened two weeks ago, but work is far from over and traffic delays will continue over the next two months as the State Highway Administration (SHA) gears up to close the west bound lanes of the bridge Tuesday.
Maryland Department of Transportation’s SHA announced this week it will begin a $2.4 million bridge deck overlay project, which will be closing two lanes of bridge traffic.
“Beginning Tuesday, March 4, SHA will close and begin overlaying the westbound bridge deck. During construction, one lane in each direction will be maintained using the eastbound lanes, which will be separated by flexible posts,” read the SHA statement this week.
SHA anticipates completion of the overlay project by Memorial Day, but weather will be a factor.
The deck overlay project could not be completed during the 35-day bridge closure that spanned across January and February because SHA reports air temperatures must be above 50 degrees for proper installation.
The milling and resurfacing of the bridge is similar to the Coastal Highway resurfacing that occurred in the fall, but unlike Coastal Highway, vehicles will not be able to drive along the milled lanes of the bridge in any circumstances.
“They’re grinding the concrete right down to the rebar. There won’t be a surface to drive on,” said Public Works Director Hal Adkins this week as he relayed the information from SHA to the Mayor and Council.
. Signs will be posted along Route 50 notifying motorists of the potential traffic delays near the bridge.
“SHA and the contractor appreciates motorists’ patience during the construction process and remind all drivers to plan for extra travel time, buckle up, obey posted speed limits, stay alert and use caution while driving through highway work zones,” the statement reads.
For the complete story, see tomorrow’s hardcopy issue of The Dispatch, available on newsstands throughout the Greater Ocean City area, or read the online version first thing tomorrow morning.