Last Weekend Before Maryland Public Schools Begin and Funeral for Late-Senator John McCain Could Create Delays

(August 30, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is advising motorists to plan extra travel time and continue the practice of leaving early and staying late as the Labor Day weekend approaches. Hundreds of thousands of motorists will be traveling to points east for the Labor Day Holiday.  Additionally, on Sunday, September 2, Senator John McCain’s funeral will occur in Annapolis at the U.S. Naval Academy. Major routes, including US 50, MD 70 (Rowe Boulevard) could experience high levels of congestion as the funeral procession transit from Washington D.C. to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Travelers also advised to beware of possible congestion in the area of FedEx Field in Landover on Saturday, September 1 for the Maryland/Texas college football game.

MDOT SHA will suspend non-emergency construction on major interstates and primary routes during the Labor Day holiday. Additionally, extra highway patrols will be added on key beach routes beginning Thursday. MDOT SHA’s CHART (Coordinated Highway Action Response Team) is on the road 24/7 and, on average, responds to an incident (crash of disabled vehicle) every 7.5 minutes. CHART patrols are critical in enhancing safety and preventing secondary crashes and congestion. When a lane is closed during peak hours when the highway is at capacity, for every minute a lane is closed, it takes four minutes to clear the backup. Additionally, the chance of a secondary crash increases by 2.8 percent, so if a lane is blocked for 36 minutes, a secondary crash is likely.

“Traveling to the Eastern Shore on eastbound US 50 got a lot easier this year thanks to the fourth lane on the Severn River Bridge and a dualized MD 404,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “These improvements are benefitting millions of travelers each month and providing a safer commute.”

Other projects making travel on Maryland’s Eastern Shore easier and safer include the completion of rehabilitation of 11 bridge driving surfaces on the Salisbury Bypass, a new pedestrian safety fence and resurfacing project on Coastal Highway in Ocean City and a new interchange on US 301 (Blue Star Memorial Highway) at MD 304 (Ruthsburg Road) in Queen Anne’s County. 

Drivers are urged to check their vehicles closely before hitting the highway. Check tires for proper traction and pressure and look for damage. Check belts and hoses for excess wear and replace hoses if there is a leak. A quick inspection of the vehicle can help reduce the likelihood of a breakdown and will help MDOT SHA keep lanes free and clear.

Motorists are reminded to stay on US 50 and not turn local roads into interstates. Local roads can’t handle the volume of vehicles and will quickly gridlock residents in their neighborhoods.

MDOT SHA offers real-time travel conditions and access to live traffic cameras on The Maryland Transportation Authority offers a toll-free real-time Chesapeake Bay Bridge information line at 1-877-BAY-SPAN (229-7726) that offers precise wait times and other travel information.

MDOT SHA also provides the following tips to keep travelers safe during while traveling:

• Buckle up! It’s the law. All seats, all the time – yes, even the backseat;
• Don’t drive after drinking. Designate a sober driver;
• Park the cell phone and mobile device and pay close attention to the road ahead;
• Get plenty of rest before hitting the road; and
• Travel at the posted speed limit.

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