SHA Could Replace Route 50 Bridge in 25 Years - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

SHA Could Replace Route 50 Bridge in 25 Years

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Car after car whisk by heading to Ocean City; most of the time moving well, but sometimes not moving at all. Paul Beats, of Ocean City, believes the Route 50 drawbridge is to blame.

"Traffic backs up onto the bridge," said Beats. "Then it gets really bad once they put that drawbridge up. Sometimes you could be sitting there anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour."

Beats said waking up to traffic jams is a huge headache. 

"They're down there beeping and honking, making all types of noises to get the traffic moving again," said Beats.

A new Route 50 bridge will sit on the north side of this existing bridge. Highway officials said the new drawbridge will stand taller with a 30-foot Clearance. But the old bridge isn't going anywhere until it's unsafe to use, according SHA Regional Engineer Donnie Drewer. "We still think, from our inspections, the existing bridge has a 25 to 30 year life span."

The Route 50 bridge is on a two-year inspection schedule. Drewer said the last inspection revealed no major problems.

"That drawbridge is very safe. Just because we have a problem with it, doesn't mean the bridge isn't safe. Its mechanical. We're going to have problems with mechanical bridges. Sometimes it's going to go up and not come down."

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