Route 90 Sinkhole Repairs Expected Today

OCEAN CITY — The sinkhole that opened on the westbound lane of the Route 90 Bridge around mid-morning Sunday, snarling traffic in and around the span on a hectic getaway day in mid-summer, was caused by heavy rain over the latter part of last week and repairs are expected to begin on Monday afternoon.

Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, a sinkhole opened on the Route 90 Bridge over the Assawoman Bay near its approach to Ocean City. State Highway Administration (SHA) crews were on hand shortly thereafter and set up a flagging operation, directing one lane traffic in the area. Crews from SHA’s maintenance shop in Snow Hill arrived a short time later and temporarily patched the hole, which was roughly three feet by six feet, with a steel plate.

The flagging operation remained in place from roughly 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., snarling traffic along one of the main access-egress points for the resort. SHA officials said on Monday the sinkhole was caused by a partial washout in the substructure under the bridge due to heavy rain over the weekend and through much of late last week.

By Monday morning, SHA’s private sector contractor, Covington Machine and Welding of Annapolis, was on their way to make a repair on the sinkhole. Covington crews will be using rock and other fill, essentially concrete grout, to address the washout. SHA crews are working under a flagging operation on that section of the Route 90 bridge nearest Ocean City on Monday until the repair is complete, which SHA expects by Monday evening. The cost of the repair is estimated at around $8,000.

The Route 90 approach to Ocean City, which is essentially two bridges including one span over the St. Martin’s River and a second over the Assawoman Bay has seen more than a few similar washouts and associated sinkholes in recent years. The last occurred on the section over the St. Martin’s River occurred in January. The section over the Assawoman Bay suffered a significant washout during Hurricane Sandy.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.