Innovative System Designed to Help Ease Seasonal Traffic Flow and Benefit Residents of Historically Underserved Eastern Shore Communities​

(June 9, 2023) – The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has awarded an $11.9 million grant for new technology aimed at improving safety and reducing congestion on US 50 (Ocean Gateway) on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation grant was awarded to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, enabling the department to deploy cutting-edge software, sensors, traffic cameras and message signs along 113 miles of US 50.

“Emerging technology is providing us with new tools to monitor, predict and respond to traffic congestion and safety concerns,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “This support from our federal partners will benefit residents of our Eastern Shore communities and the millions who visit this beautiful part of the state every year.”

Smart technology supported by the grant will help improve safety, increase efficiency of freight delivery and enhance mobility in historically disadvantaged and underserved Eastern Shore communities along the US 50 corridor. Once deployed, the hardware and software will monitor traffic queues in real-time, predict flow and adapt signal timing to help provide gaps, allowing local traffic on side streets to enter and exit US 50 more safely and efficiently. 

The grant was announced by the Federal Highway Administration on May 25, and is part of a nationwide $52.78 million investment through the Advanced Transportation Technology and Innovation program under the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The grant also supports State Highway Administration deployment of warning and travel information signs and additional live traffic cameras along the corridor. Installation is expected to begin late 2026. 

“This grant will allow us to harness innovative technologies that will help address severe traffic congestion along this critical corridor,” said State Highway Administrator Tim Smith. “With the deployment of these technologies, we will be able to better serve our customers and connect people with life’s opportunities.” 

US 50 experiences significant seasonal and holiday traffic, and the impact of these new technologies will be felt during these peak times. Weather, work zone activity, crashes, disabled vehicles and debris in the roadway also contribute to congestion and lost time along US 50. The State Highway Administration anticipates that once deployed, the new technology will save drivers along the corridor nearly 2.5 million hours.

The federal grant supports the State Highway Administration’s Rural Opportunities to Use Traffic Technology Enhancements (ROUTE)​ project on US 50, which is designed to help address disparities in rural transportation infrastructure by using technology to dynamically manage traffic and free communities from congestion. The ROUTE project on US 50 focuses on improving safety, travel time reliability, mobility, and quality of life in the rural communities along the 113-mile US 50 corridor.