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Project Information

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County:Worcester Project Number:WO419_11
Project Name:
US 50, Ocean Gateway

Location of Project:

Study to replace Bridge 23007 over the Sinepuxent Bay. The study will investigate options to eliminate/upgrade the drawspan structure.
Project Study Area

The project is located in Ocean City, in the northeastern portion of Worcester County, Maryland. The limits of the US 50 Sinepuxent Bay Crossing study area extend from MD 611 to MD 378 (Baltimore Avenue) in the east-west direction, and 3rd Street to Somerset Street in the north-south direction, and include the Harry W. Kelly Memorial Bridge. The bridge, built in 1942, is included in the MDOT SHA Historic Highway Bridge Inventory and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

The purpose of this study is to develop a transportation solution that improves upon the structural, operational and safety deficiencies associated with the existing bridge, while improving safety for all users. US 50 is the primary east-west route connecting Ocean City to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and the remainder of the Delmarva Peninsula, via the Harry W. Kelly Memorial Bridge. A safe and efficient route is needed to provide access to Ocean City, and serve as an effective evacuation route from the barrier peninsula during emergencies. The bridge’s narrow curb-to-curb width is considered to be substandard for the average daily traffic (ADT) volume it carries, particularly during summer months. Pedestrians, fisherman and cyclists must share the same five-foot sidewalk, creating the potential for conflicts. During the peak summer season, the drawbridge opens twice an hour to accommodate boat traffic that is too high to pass beneath the bridge, creating congested conditions and delays on the bridge.

What Is Under Study:
The US 50 Sinepuxent Bay Crossing Study, initiated in 2004, concluded in 2013 following receipt of US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Location Approval of the MDOT SHA Preferred Alternative, Alternative 5A - North Parallel Span. The Preferred Alternative is the alternative that MDOT SHA determined to be most effective in meeting the project's purpose and need while minimizing project impacts, from among those studied, including a No Build Alternative.

Upon receipt of approval from FHWA, the MDOT SHA preferred alternative is referred to as the Selected Alternative and the planning phase of the project is concluded. Details of the study history are documented in the May 2012: Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) / Programmatic Section 4(f) Evaluation, US -50 Crossing Study.

Description of Improvements: Alternative 5A - North Parallel Bridge

May 2012 Proposed Typical Section

A new parallel bridge would be built just north of U.S. 50, tying back into Division Street, with a 30-foot-high draw span. The bridge would include two 12-foot travel lanes in each direction, divided by a 6-foot median. Shoulders and sidewalks would be constructed on both sides of the road. Click on the Fall 2013 Project Newsletter for a map of the Selected Alternative and additional details. The project will proceed to subsequent project phases that include final design, right-of-way acquisition and construction, as funding become available.

Project Type:

Current Phase:Planning
Funded Year :2004 How much will this project cost?
Funding Source(s):State
Last Updated On : 4/25/2018


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