By Elizabeth Bonin, Staff Writer
(Nov. 29, 2019) Construction to make Route 113 a four-lane highway remains on schedule, though with an ambitious timeline, according to Bob Rager, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) liaison. By the end of December, the administration hopes to have all four lanes from Berlin to Snow Hill open for traffic.
Contractor Allan Myers is currently working on paving the final road surface on the four-mile section from north of MD 365 Public Landing Road to the north of Five-Mile-Branch. How quickly that goes is largely dependent on weather, Rager said.
“It’s a tall order, as surface asphalt mixes generally require a minimum temperature of 40 degrees for proper compaction and good ride quality,” Rager said. “As long as the weather is favorable, we plan on paving seven days a week during daylight hours.”
He added that construction will not take place during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Route 113 project began in 2003, when the SHA tied a two-lane section south of Snow Hill to the dual highway leading to Pocomoke, and then expanded the highway from Delaware to Berlin. Work on the eight-mile section going into Snow Hill started at the end of 2017.
The effort to widen the highway, however, began more than two decades earlier, in 1994, when Ocean Pines resident Robert Hulbard founded “CRASH”, (County Residents Action for Safer Highways) after his cousin was killed in an accident on Route 113.
The state conducted its first study of the possibility of adding two lanes to the highway from Delaware to south of Snow Hill in 1997.
Since taking office in January 2015, Gov. Larry Hogan has made completing the project one of his priorities.
Rager said that after the surface is completed, the SHA will still need to work striping, rumble strips and raised and reflective pavements parkers, as well as more environmental items, such as the landscape, swales and stormwater management ponds.
“We’re very confident this project will be completed by the spring,” Rager said. “When it’s done, all 38 miles of US 113 in Maryland will be dual highway.”
He reminded drivers to watch for lane shifts and flagging, as well as workers moving equipment.
“Please obey the work zone speed limit and be prepared to stop at any time,” Rager said. “ Our workers’ lives and the lives of other motorists depend on every driver remaining alert and patient through the work zone.”