Beach Traffic Will Get Extra Lane of U.S. 50 in Anne Arundel County

Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday the state will widen eastbound U.S. 50 as it crosses the Severn River in Annapolis.

The $22.8 million project will add a fourth lane to the highway starting at Rowe Boulevard, cross the Severn River and continue to U.S. 450, he said. He said the project would be complete by Memorial Day weekend in 2018.

The mile-long project adds the eastbound U.S. 50 lane on the bridge by shifting the existing median and restriping the pavement to provide seven through-travel lanes — four lanes on eastbound U.S. 50, three lanes on westbound U.S. 50.

Hogan said that for the past eight years, transportation money had been siphoned off to use for non-transportation purposes, leaving the state with crumbling roads and traffic congestion.

“Some of the worst of that traffic particularly during the summer months has been right here along U.S. Route 50 and the Severn River Bridge,” he said at a news conference took place on the Ridgely Avenue bridge over U.S. 50.

The stretch of road is a common bottleneck as vacation-goers head to Maryland and Delaware beaches.

The average daily traffic on this section of U.S. 50 is 126,000 vehicles per day with that number ballooning to more than 145,000 on a typical summer Friday, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. By 2040, the daily average is expected to be 160,000 vehicles per day and again balloon to more than 186,000 on a summer Friday. During evening rush hours, traffic delays routinely extend for miles along the corridor, increasing during crashes or routine maintenance work, according to the transportation department.

Construction will begin next week on the eastbound side of the bridge where the contractor, Joseph B. Fay Construction, Inc. of Glen Burnie, will begin installing barriers.

Three lanes of traffic will be maintained during the day for both eastbound and westbound US 50 traffic. Work zone signs will be placed in advance of construction. Nighttime lane closures will begin September 5; no daytime lane closures are permitted. Additional work includes reconstructing the existing bridge deck and catwalk under the bridge, placing precast barriers on the bridge, and installing new steel cross frames.

On Monday, Hogan announced work would begin on the Purple Line, the 16-mile transit link between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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