(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

Preliminary Work Begins Next Week; Speed Limit Reduced as Traffic is Shifted to Bidirectional Pattern through March

(February 3, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) is reducing US 50 (Ocean Gateway) to one lane in each direction between east of Backtown Road and Timberwind Lane in the town of Trappe (Talbot County) for emergency pipe replacement.  Weather permitting, US 50 will be back into its normal configuration by late March.

Crews will install a 42-inch 160-feet long concrete pipe, in place of the existing 36 x 60 inch corrugated metal structure.  They will also construct new end walls.

Prior to the actual pipe work, crews will reconfigure US 50, paving the median crossovers and setting concrete barrier for the bidirectional flow.  This work is expected to take about two weeks, weather permitting.

Crews will then close one lane in each direction prior to the work zone and shift traffic across the US 50 median to run bidirectional on one side of US 50.  This will allow crews to excavate and replace the pipe under one side of the highway with the safest conditions possible – no traffic in the immediate work area.

When the first half is done, the contractor will shift all traffic to the other side of US 50 and complete the remaining pipe work.  The pipe replacement will take up to four weeks.

“Motorists are urged to alternate merging to the single lane, reduce speeds well in advance of the median crossover and be alert for stopped traffic,” said SHA District 2 Engineer Greg Holsey.  “The work area speed limit is 35 mph.  Local access will be maintained throughout construction; drivers are asked to remain alert for school students, work crews and buses.”

SHA’s work is being performed under an area-wide maintenance contract awarded to Covington Machine and Welding of Annapolis.  An average of 29,000 vehicles travel this stretch of US 50 each day and volumes are significantly higher during the summer beach season. Once the traffic is switched to bidirectional, permit loads are not permitted through the work zone.  Commercial drivers should consult


(SHA diagram: Bidirectional traffic patterns.)

SHA will provide frequent work updates via traditional and social media.  Follow us on Twitter, @MDSHA.  Maryland drivers can know before they go by calling 511 or visiting for live traffic updates, including construction delays and lane closures.