More Route 50 Service Road Work To Begin

SNOW HILL – With phase one of the Route 50 service road completed, Worcester County is turning its attention to design work for phase two.

The Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to complete the design work for the new service road, west to the Route 589 intersection and beyond to Seahawk Rd.

The county will spend $244,005 total on design costs for phase two, which will come out of funding already set aside. About $859,000 has been saved for the project.

Consultants will consider traffic circulation at Stephen Decatur High School and how and where to tie the service road in to Seahawk Rd., given the existing businesses at that intersection.

The price includes employee cost-of-living increases, and right-of-way negotiation fees for phase two, and possibly for one property from phase one. Phase two requires right-of-way from 13 properties.

The consultants will also prepare a traffic control plan, a sign and road striping plan, a forest conservation plan and do utility design for power, water, sewer and other connections in the area.

The work will be designed in three stages, 30 percent, up to 75 percent, and finally 100 percent. Worcester County staff will review each stage of design before the next is begun.

The service road will be designed with a 30 mph speed limit in mind and the four-lane road will include a 14-foot-wide foot median. Plans also call for a bike and pedestrian path on the six-foot wide paved shoulder of the service road.

The Route 50 service road has been under discussion for years. The commissioners took over the effort when it became clear that the state of Maryland was not going to go after the project and make it happen.

“It is taking a long time,” said Virgil Shockley, president of the Worcester County Commissioners.

The county had been hoping that the state would complete its preliminary design work for the eventual dualization of Route 589, so the two designs could be tied together, hopefully through an overpass at that intersection.

“We’ve always looked at having an overpass at 589 and 50,” Shockley said, but that has yet to materialize even on paper.

Shockley said the work would get done, despite the slow pace.