Bridge Deck Work Over Pocomoke River to Impact Traffic for Two Years
(May 1, 2014) – The State Highway Administration (SHA) is starting construction of a $14.4 million project to replace the bridge decks (driving surface) of the two northbound lanes of US 13 (Ocean Highway) and resurface the two southbound bridge decks crossing the Pocomoke River. The two US 13 bridges carry four lanes of state highway and the route is a major connection between Somerset and Worcester counties.  Preliminary work on the project began underneath the bridges earlier this spring.
Construction work will impact motorists beginning Monday, May 5 when SHA will close both southbound lanes of the US 13 Bridge, and switch traffic via a temporary median crossover just north of the Pocomoke River.  Both directions of traffic will use this bridge through November 2014.
Immediately after the southbound bridge decks are resurfaced late this fall, SHA will reopen the southbound lanes and switch all northbound traffic to a second temporary single lane crossover in the median just south of the Pocomoke River Bridge.
The existing 55 mph speed limit along US 13 approaching the bridge and throughout the work zone area will be reduced to 45 mph when the primary construction phase begins later in the spring. The speed limit reduction will continue until the project is complete.
The contractor is permitted to work on the bridge Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but extended hours into the early evening may be necessary, depending on progress of the project. Motorists should allow for extra time in crossing the bridge in both directions during construction.  In addition to replacing both bridge decks, the contract includes bridge painting, and repairs to steel beams and the concrete surfaces of the bridge piers. All work is expected to be complete by late fall 2015, weather permitting.
Motorists should expect to use one lane in each direction each day during the construction project.  The contractor will use cones and barrels together with a flagging operation, as needed, to direct traffic during construction. SHA awarded the contract to Joseph P. Fay Company, of Glen Burnie.
“Originally constructed in 1959 and 1966, the bridge decks have outlived their useful service,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Rehabilitating the bridge decks on this vital roadway on Maryland’s lower eastern shore will save money on future maintenance costs and support safety and mobility as part of SHA’s bridge system preservation program,” she added.
This project was made possible with funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which maintains crucial system preservation investments and allows Maryland to activate long-term strategies to invest in Maryland’s transportation systems. By putting people back to work in the transportation industry with $4.4 billion in new investments in the next six years, Maryland is creating hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and providing Marylanders with the transportation infrastructure necessary to grow and prosper for decades to come.
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!
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Pocomoke Temporary crossovers are constructed in the median of both the southbound and northbound lanes of the US 13 Bridge over the Pocomoke River to prepare for major bridge repairs and deck improvements by SHA. The project begins May 5 and has a scheduled completion date for the entire project of late fall 2015, weather permitting.
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