OCEAN CITY — State Highway Administration (SHA) crews are putting the wraps on the Coastal Highway median fence and repaving project and are expected to be finished Thursday evening, a day earlier than previously promised.
Last Month, SHA officials promised the Mayor and Council the ongoing median fence project and associated repaving would be completed by the time-honored “Friday of Memorial Day weekend” and it appears the agency and its private contractors will make good on that promise. After months of lane closures, orange barrels and traffic headaches, SHA officials said on Thursday crews are expected to complete the project tonight.
“Our work crews will finish the fencing project by this evening,” said SHA District Community Liaison Tanesha Hankerson on Thursday. “The completed work includes paving from 26th Street to 62nd Street on Coastal Highway, the installation of 40-foot light poles from Convention Center Drive to Route 90 as well as the installation of the median fence that also goes from Convention Center Drive to Route 90. Landscaping around the fence has been installed as well.”
The much-debated median fence with enhanced lighting got underway last fall. The median fence is expected to improve public safety in the known trouble spot section of Coastal Highway, which historically has seen the most pedestrian-vehicle collisions, by forcing pedestrians to cross the highway at marked crosswalks at street ends and not dash across between blocks.
The project, which was designed by SHA with significant input from Ocean City officials has a budget of around $4.5 million for the initial phase. The project features an undulating fence down the center median of Coastal Highway mimicking the iconic fences along the dunes in Ocean City complete with the appropriate landscaping to complete the illusion. No less important is improved lighting along the corridor with higher wattage LED lights on poles in the center median.