Route 404 work expected to continue through summer
FEDERALSBURG — As work to dualize state Route 404 is set to continue through the upcoming summer, the Maryland State Highway Association is talking to local towns about alternate routes it may suggest for beach-bound traffic.
Bob Rager, SHA district liaison, visited the Federalsburg mayor and council’s meeting Monday, April 3, to get their opinion on a possibility in increased traffic this summer.
“We’re trying to figure out where to tell people to go (to avoid Route 404),” said Rager.
Town officials said they saw no problem in encouraging drivers to use state Route 318 around Federalsburg, though they did not expect it to be much of a boon for town businesses, as most drivers probably will stick to the bypass.
“McDonald’s might get more traffic, since they can see it from the highway, but that’s about it,” said Councilman David Morean.
Rager said SHA typically would avoid road work on Route 404 during the busy summer season, as so many people use it to get to the beach, but the goal to finish dualizing the last remaining 9.2 miles between U.S. Route 50 and Denton by Thanksgiving will make this year unique.
Starting Memorial Day weekend, crews will not work weekends, Rager said, but they will work around the clock during the week, meaning drivers will encounter lane closures during the off-peak travel hours SHA usually encourages people to travel.
As a result, SHA is working on suggested alternate routes and will roll out a campaign to raise awareness of those routes before Memorial Day, Rager said.
Rager also updated the mayor and council on the other major road project affecting Caroline County, the Dover Bridge replacement.
Right now, work is paused for the last of four scheduled periods to let dirt settle, Rager said.
That is set to end in August, when crews will start pumping concrete to build the last section of deck on the Caroline County side, Rager said. Drivers can expect another few weeks of regular lane closures when that work starts.
The project as a whole is far ahead of the original schedule, Rager said, mostly because the ground is settling quicker than expected. At this point, Rager said, engineers think the new bridge should be open to traffic in early 2018.