MDOT SHA Preparing Lower Eastern Shore Roads For Summer Travelers

Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation period.

(Top) MDOT SHA Crews replacing road sign       (Bottom)  Vacuum Truck cleaning out a road  drainage system.

(Photos from MDOT SHA)

Baltimore, Md (KM) The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration on the lower Eastern Shore is getting roads ready for vacation travel.

Spokesman Charlie Gischlar says that area of Maryland is not too far above the sea level, and that means that water can accumulate on the roads. He says crews have been working to make sure the roads’ drainage systems can keep that from happening. “Whenever we get a major high tide or you get some  kind of weather event with heavy rain, you can expect some of the roads to get inundated with water,” he says.. “So that’s why it’s particularly important and that’s one of the challenges that faces  our lower shore shops.”

Gischlar says MDOT SHA crews have been clearing the inlets, pipes and ditches which  are part of the highway’s drainage system. “We first manually will remove any kind of litter and or debris from the area that we can see. And then these  vacuum trucks will go and actually  extract any kind  of litter or debris deep inside the pipes. That way, when it does rain, the water can be conveyed off the roadway and into our storage facility.”

He notes this is something MDOT SHA crews on the lower Eastern Shore do all year round, no matter the weather or the season. “But we do do  a particular effort before the Memorial Day influx of a lot of people coming in just make sure we’re getting a good start here,:” Gischlar says.

The crews have also been replacing signs and re-striping some roads. Gischlar says the salinity in the air and the long periods of sunlight can have an impact. “That does tend make the road signs fade quicker, the line striping fade quicker. So we really have to stay on top of that which our  crews do very diligently down in our district lower shore offices.”

And if you’re planning to head down to  Ocean City or some other vacation spot this weekend or some other time during the summer, Gischlar says plan out your visit by going to and clicking  on CHART to find the locations of all the road closures. You can dial 1-855-BAY-SPAN (1-855-229-7726) to find the latest on crossing the Bay Bridge.

He says it’s also best to leave early or stay late to avoid traffic congestion, and stay on US Route 50 when heading to Ocean City.

By Kevin McManus