Ocean City Today

SHA shifts Route 113 traffic onto new lanes to aid work

By Brian Gilliland | Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: Submitted photo Since the flashing-light intersection was removed during the dualization work of Route 113, workers remove the lane striping that used to govern the intersection.

(March 23, 2018) The Monday-morning commute along Route 113 changed slightly, as the northbound lanes were shifted to the new roadway slightly east of the old lanes, but by mid-afternoon all traffic was moved to the new road.

That’s not to say traffic won’t shift back as work continues, especially when the roadwork requires people to be in the median. Drainage and installation of streetlight poles could affect traffic flows in the next few months.

“It’s what we did on Route 404,” Bob Rager, State Highway Administration spokesman said. “It may be the last step before Phase 3 is fully open.”

While this part of the project more than two years old and looks unfinished, Rager said Phase 3 is almost done.

“I know it looks to most people that we’re just halfway there,” Rager said. “But we’re 80 percent finished.”

Phase 3 is the section of Route 113 from Massey Branch Road south to Five Mile Branch Road. Rager said he expects this part of the road to be completely open within the next three-to-five months.

“There are some differences, particularly regarding major intersections like Langmaid Road,” Rager said. “For example, in the old alignment, northbound US 113 drivers had a fairly easy left turn to Langmaid Road. Now, that turn requires travel across the median area. All drivers must remain alert for stopped and turning traffic in this area.”

The speed limit remains 45 miles per hour in the work zone, with fines doubled for infractions.

“Reduced speed in any work zone is a good idea, but it’s critical when there’s a new traffic pattern — motorists adjust and adapt to change at different rates, so it’s important for all motorists traveling through this work zone to be patient,” he said.

The new lanes aren’t completely finished yet, so motorists might notice the uneven texture of the road. Rager said this is just the base asphalt layer and the new lanes will be resurfaced before the dualized highway is fully open.

The lanes shift is to accommodate resurfacing of the old roadway. Rager said the work should progress on this section fairly quickly, since much of the road is intact.

“Motorists should still expect occasional lane closures from now through substantial completion/final traffic pattern, which should be late June,” Rager said. “We’ll still have landscaping and punch list items through this year but our aim is to get all lanes of traffic and all turning movements open by the end of June.”

Phase 4 is also underway and is the final phase of the dualization work. Expected to be open in 2019, this construction will complete the transformation of the road from a two-lane to a four-lane highway.

The next milestone on the Phase 4 side of the construction is expected this spring, Rager said.

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