US 50 construction will affect beach-bound traffic until next spring

WASHINGTON — If you take U.S. Route 50 to Ocean City, take note. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration says a new reconstruction project that will take a year and a half to complete will begin at an intersection on U.S. Route 50 in Wicomico County later this week.

The intersection is where U.S. Route 50 and Maryland Route 353 — also known as Sixty Foot Road — meet in Pittsville, Maryland. It’s a busy junction in the summertime, as Route 50 is one of the more popular routes to Ocean City. MDOT said that an average of 31,000 vehicles travel this section of U.S. 50 every day.

The project is expected to cost $3.14 million and will wrap up in spring 2019.

Changes to the intersection include full-color traffic signals, new left turn lanes, reconstructing acceleration and deceleration lanes, as well as updating the landscaping in the area.

“We’re putting in left turn lanes which separates that turning traffic from the through traffic which [will help] reduce congestion at that intersection,” said Charlie Gischlar, spokesperson for MDOT SHA.

Construction workers have been permitted to close a single lane during off-peak daytime hours. As construction is nearing completion, MDOT will close the median for safety reasons. Traffic will be detoured to nearby intersections until work on the median is finished.

MDOT says that while it works to keep the work zones as safe as possible, drivers will still need to change their driving styles to help prevent crashes.

The Sixty Foot Road intersection upgrade is one of several recent state highway projects on the Eastern Shore. Gischlar touted the recently widened and divided lanes Maryland Route 404, a new interchange in Centreville and 11 rehabilitated bridges in Salisbury as examples of improvements that have benefited beach-bound travelers this year.

See a map of the area below:

WTOP’s Dave Dildine contributed to this report. 

Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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