Ocean City Today

OC median safety project underway

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 09, 2017
Photo by: Katie Tabeling Bartlett Tree Experts cleared the medians near 40th Street on Tuesday morning, in preparation for contractors George & Lynch, Inc. to start installing the median fence and LED lights.

(Nov. 10, 2017) As promised, “shovels in the dirt” work on the Coastal Highway median fence that will run from 29th Street to 62nd Street began this week, marking the start of a lengthy pedestrian safety project that is expected to wrap up by Memorial Day.

Construction began Monday morning on 39th Street, and crews will work their way north, State Highway Administration median relations manager Charlie Gischlar said.

“Drivers can expect to see cones the first week, but from the 13th and thereafter, barrels will be used,” he said. “Both left lanes (closest to the median) will be closed in each direction during work hours.”

Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Friday will be used if needed.

The pedestrian safety improvement project, which includes installing a five-foot-tall fence, shrubbery and LED lights on the median, was bundled with the annual repaving of stretches on Coastal Highway. This year, crews will work on approximately two miles of Coastal Highway. Both sides of the road will be ground, patched, paved and restriped before summer.

But the priority is installing the median fence and the lights before any repaving is done, Gischlar said.

For more than a year, Ocean City Officials have worked with the SHA on installing a sand dune-style fence that would run throughout the entire resort, funneling pedestrians to marked crosswalks.

Two men died this year after they were struck by cars, including Thomas Lawlor, 57, of Ocean City who was hit by a marked Maryland State Police cruiser in October.

In addition to installing the fence, crews will lengthen the left turn lane on Coastal Highway north to 52nd Street. This will allow more cars to line up at that light, as overspill in the past as edged into other lanes.

Drivers can expect both single- and double-lane closures during off-peak hours, during construction. Since there is little notice which lanes will be closed when, drivers should plan ahead before they commute.

George & Lynch Inc. of Dover, Delaware, has been contracted by the Maryland Department of Transportation and the SHA to complete the $6.5 million project. The contractor’s office can be reached at 302-736-3031 or via its website, www.geolyn.com.

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