Route 50 Bridge Repairs to Start Wednesday in Ocean City - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Route 50 Bridge Repairs to Start Wednesday in Ocean City

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The Route 50 Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge in Ocean City. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16) The Route 50 Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge in Ocean City. (Photo: WBOC Chopper 16)
OCEAN CITY, Md.- A new traffic pattern will soon take effect on the Route 50 Harry W. Kelley Memorial Bridge in Ocean City as crews make permanent repairs to the bridge's mechanical system beginning Wednesday.

It was last summer, July 26, 2014, when the draw span on the Route 50 drawbridge became stuck open in the upright position. Traffic was backed up in several directions for five hours. Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said there was a malfunction in the draw span. Crews made a temporary fix to the bridge's mechanical system.

Michael Dunton, who works in Ocean City, remembers how challenging it was to get around.

"It was a very difficult time getting off the island," Dunton said. “If I had a boat at the time, it probably would have worked just fine.”

The agency contracted Covington Machine and Welding of Annapolis to make the $65,000 repair. Starting today, a single right lane of the bridge on eastbound US 50 will be closed from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. through the end of March, according to state highway officials. An occasional 24-hour lane closure is possible. Crews will not work March 13-16 for St. Patrick's Day Weekend because traffic volume will be higher. Repairs should be complete by the end of the month.

"It's going to slow people up a bit, but we're just glad it's not going to happen in the summertime,” Dunton said.

“I think they should do what they have to do no matter how long it takes to repair it,” said Robert Parker of Ocean City.

Drivers are encouraged to use MD 90 (Ocean City Expressway) as an alternate route.

The US 50 Bridge over the Sinepuxent Bay was built in 1942. It has opened an average 1,600 times annually, according to state officials. 
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