(April 19, 2013) – Good news for Eastern Shore travelers - the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) opened both westbound lanes of the US 50 Bridge over US 301 to traffic today – several weeks ahead of schedule.  To reconstruct the deck of the Queenstown Bridge, SHA closed one of the two lanes last fall to complete the majority of the construction during the winter months when travel demands are lighter for Shore destinations.

“This is great news for Eastern Shore travelers and we are very pleased to be ahead of schedule, well before the heaviest shore-bound travel months this spring and summer,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation SHA has received from residents, travelers, commercial vehicle drivers and nearby businesses since this project began last fall.”

The $2.8 million replacement of the bridge deck (driving surface/portion) started in late September.  SHA and the project contractor Corman Construction, Inc., of Annapolis Junction, diligently worked to complete the majority of the work before the spring and summer travel season.  On average, more than 44,000 vehicles travel US 50 per day and that increases by 30 to 40 percent on summer weekends.     

The bridge was constructed in 1950.  The upgrade project includes a new deck, resurfacing, replacement of steel beams that support the bridge deck as well as maintenance and cleaning.  SHA’s reconstruction of the deck will extend the “life” of the bridge for approximately 40 years.

SHA is opening the travel lane to accommodate weekend traffic demand, which is increasing with warmer weather.  However, work requiring off-peak lane closures will continue through fall.  Crews will install raised pavement markings along the roadway shoulders the week of April 22.  Additionally, SHA will set up two consecutive two-night temporary detours along US 301 from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday (April 22 and 23) drivers travelling southbound US 301 will be detoured to a left on MD 456 (Del Rhodes Avenue) to westbound US 50 (Ocean Gateway) back to US 301.

On Wednesday and Thursday (April 24 and 25) between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., motorists traveling northbound on US 301 will be detoured to eastbound US 50 to a left on MD 213 (Centreville Road) back to US 301.  Similar detours have worked well throughout the project with minimal delays.  The temporary closures and detours are required to enable the contractor to remove steel scaffolding and an environmental containment system.

Beyond April 30, crews will complete masonry on the brick walls aligning the bridge, which will require periodic single-lane closures along westbound US 50 over US 301 weekdays from May until early September.  SHA will use variable message signs, cones and barrels to guide motorists through the work zone during any remaining lane closures this summer.

Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information to Know Before You Go! Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit  for current travel information.  For Shore-bound travel and return trips, try 511’s new “Reach the Beach” feature by simply saying “Reach the Beach.”  This service provides real-time travel information between the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Eastern Shore destinations.

SHA is making it easy to get safety tips and information on the go through Twitter@MDSHA and on Facebook at Highway Administration.
# # #