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Changes Coming To The Severn River Bridge

Zach Sparks
View Bio
June 14, 2017

If you called the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) with concerns about traffic on Route 50, your prayers have been answered.

SHA has completed the planning and design phase for an additional eastbound lane on the Severn River Bridge. The project will be underway by September 2017. After its completion in May or June 2018, all travel lanes will be 11 feet wide instead of 12 feet wide.

A 2011 feasibility study determined congestion on the Severn River Bridge was caused not only by traffic but also by the following factors: bridge grade, truck volume, narrow shoulders, the merge from Rowe Boulevard, queue jumpers and drivers slowing to view the scenic Severn River. After Governor Larry Hogan allocated $25 million in construction funds for the bridge following the 2015 session of the General Assembly, the project became a go.

According to SHA Planning Project Manager Kenya Lucas, the endeavor will require more construction than people may realize. “The US 50 bridges over the Severn River Bridge are actually two separate bridges with a gap in the center,” Lucas explained. “SHA will be installing steel cross-fitters to connect the bridges together and make one structure. This will require replacement of a portion of the bridge deck (driving surface). Once complete, SHA will move the existing median barrier 5.5 feet to the north. This will allow the restriping of the deck to accommodate the 11-foot lanes in the east and westbound directions.”

SHA expects the project to relieve congestion — which is especially bad in the evenings and during summer peak travel periods — for the next 10 to 15 years. Lucas emphasized that the SHA crew will avoid disrupting traffic where possible.

“The majority of the work will be completed at night to minimize construction-related delays,” Lucas said. “It is our intent to keep lanes open during the peak hours to reduce the [highest] amount of congestion as possible.”

For more information on the project, visit www.roads.maryland.gov. Or, you can add your name to the project mailing list by emailing your information to jnavarra@sha.state.md.us.

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