OC Mayor: Sinkhole Highlights Need for Rt. 90 Dualization - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

OC Mayor: Sinkhole Highlights Need for Rt. 90 Dualization

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Sinkhole on Route 90 in Worcester County. (Photo: WBOC) Sinkhole on Route 90 in Worcester County. (Photo: WBOC)

WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. - A sinkhole snarled traffic on Route 90 for a few hours for drivers trying to leave Ocean City early Sunday afternoon.  Crews were out repairing the damage Monday.  And some Ocean City leaders believe the sinkhole highlights a bigger need and issue on the Worcester County highway.

Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said the sinkhole was caused by the heavy rains in the area late last week and over the weekend.  A steel plate was placed over top of the sinkhole on Sunday so traffic could resume.  Monday, crews were out on Route 90 repairing the damage.  The hole was roughly three feet wide and six feet deep.  Monday afternoon, crews were out filling the hole with concrete grout.  SHA officials said the entire emergency repair project cost about $8,000.

Heavy traffic was the main issue caused by the sinkhole but Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan believes such extreme delays could be avoided.

"It shows how something like a sinkhole can cause such a major traffic back and closure," he said. "When you look at that, and look at something that could be worse than that, how long it might shut down access in and out of Ocean City.  I think it really shows the importance of looking into and dualizing Route 90."

Meehan said he has had conversation with SHA in the past about a possible Route 90 dualization project but has been told it is not a priority at this time. Other roads in Worcester County are in need of attention and funding.  But Meehan believes if a sinkhole can delay traffic for a few hours on a weekend, imagine what would have happened if the issue was a bit more severe.

"If we have a sinkhole, if we have anything like that just on two lanes on Route 90, and we have an emergency evacuation situation, that's going to paralyze a whole section of the city," Meehan told WBOC on Monday.

SHA officials said the sinkhole repaid should be complete by Monday evening.  This is also not the first time heavy rains caused issues on, and near, Route 90 bridges in Worcester County.  According to SHA, the bridge over the St. Martin River had a similar sinkhole back in 2015 and Hurricane Sandy caused a sinkhole, or washout, on the bridge over the Assawoman Bay back in 2012.

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