(January 7, 2010) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) has temporarily closed the left lane on southbound MD 5 (Branch Avenue) at Burch Hill Road/Earnshaw Drive in Brandywine, Prince George’s County.  A drainage issue under MD 5 resulted in water in the roadway, which has turned to ice.  SHA had been salting the lane nightly but will close one lane most of the day to ensure motorist safety.  The left lane is open for afternoon rush hour only between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will be salted, if needed, to ensure safe passage for drivers. 

This section of MD 5 is located in a high water area, and with the recent snowmelt and subsequent rains, the surrounding ground is saturated.  Because of the ground saturation and the drainage issue under MD 5 the water has nowhere to drain and is creating icy conditions in the left lane of the roadway.

SHA anticipates a permanent solution to the drainage issue within the next three weeks, when SHA will patch MD 5.  The patch will be in place until spring when warmer temperatures will allow SHA to remove the concrete patch and use asphalt to permanently repair the roadway.

Currently, the left lane on southbound MD 5 at Burch Hill Road/Earnshaw Drive is closed 21 hours a day for drivers’ safety. 

Motorists should prepare for delays and drive carefully in the work zone.  SHA reminds all drivers to “Take it Slow on Ice and Snow.”   Choose Safety for Life and buckle up, obey posted speed limits, think orange, and stay alert.  Customers who have questions about traffic operations on MD 5 or other state numbered routes in Prince George’s County may call SHA’s District 3 Office at 301-513-7300 or toll free at 1-800-749-0737.

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