(April 26, 2013) – Supporting EmPower Maryland, the State Highway Administration (SHA) will soon begin a two-year project to upgrade the roadway lighting system along US 50 (Ocean Gateway) in Queen Anne’s County.  The eight-mile project extends between MD 8 (Romancoke Road) and the US 50/US 301 split, including the Kent Narrows Bridge. The lighting upgrades are scheduled to begin by May 1st.

Total reconstruction of the existing lighting system includes relocating light poles, installing new energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) lights, new conduit, wiring and light pole foundations.   While meeting or exceeding the recommended light levels for highway safety, energy savings could range between 12-15 percent for highway lighting in the project area, depending on the actual fixture at each location.

Since LED lighting is a relatively new technology for this type of application, initial purchase and installation cost could reduce or negate energy or maintenance savings.  According to SHA’s Office of Traffic and Safety, it is expected that as technologies mature and competition between vendors increase, prices for more energy efficient lighting will reduce and SHA will experience long term cost savings.

“We are pleased the US 50 corridor on the Eastern Shore will benefit from the new roadway lighting improvements.  Existing lighting systems are as old as the highways and new technology will enable SHA to provide safe and efficient lighting for motorists,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. 

The $2.5 million project was awarded to Rommel Engineering and Construction, Inc. of Linthicum and is scheduled for completion by early 2015, weather permitting. Motorists will not notice any difference while driving at night except the new LED fixtures emit a more natural white light, making the roadway appear brighter. While maintaining or exceeding highway lighting safety requirements, SHA is reducing the total number of light poles from 346 to 272, a 21 percent reduction.

SHA may occasionally have temporary single lane and shoulder closures using cones and barrels, as circumstances require according to the following schedule:

May 1 through September 30 ---- Single-lane closures between 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays with the following exceptions:
• No eastbound lane or shoulder closures permitted on Fridays;
• No westbound lane or shoulder closures permitted on Mondays.

October 1 through April 30 ---- Single-lane closures are permitted Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for holidays, on eastbound or westbound US 50. 

While SHA and its transportation partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert and look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers.  Slow down and don’t follow too closely.  Safer driving. Safer work zones. For everyone.

Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information!  Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit:  for current travel information. Sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the website. Remember to use 511 safely - Maryland law restricts hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.

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