Tuesday, April 17 - Route 50 Service Road Start Expected Next Month
SNOW HILL - Bids are in for the first phase of the proposed Route 50 service road, with the lowest, accepted bid exceeding the estimated cost.
'The low bid was 10-percent higher than we expected,' said County Commissioner Judy Boggs.
However, the financial setback is not as bad as it could have been, according to county staffers.
'I've seen worse. I've seen a lot worse,' said Public Works Director John Tustin.
The accepted bid from George and Lynch, Inc. was for $1,357,703. The original engineer's estimate, $1,233,961, is about $123,000 less. Two other bids came in at $1.5 million and $1.9 million.
Building is expected to begin on phase 1a of the project as soon as possible. Tustin anticipates that work will begin in the next three weeks.
'It would probably be in early May,' he said.
The first phase will start with turn lanes on the highway and the reconfiguration of Holly Grove Rd. The road will be straightened out to meet Route 50 in a 90-degree angle intersection. There will be two lanes in and two out.
'There are no plans at the current time for any signalization,' Tustin said.
Holly Grove Rd. will 'tee into' the service road about 500 feet off Route 50, Tustin said.
The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will be heavily involved in inspecting the work, which will be designed to meet their standards, Tustin said. Contractors will do the construction.
The agency will control work times as well, with work to be finished by 3 p.m. Friday and not resume until Monday morning in order to avoid conflicts with weekend traffic to the beach. As a result, the first phase could take as many as seven months.
'Hopefully, they'll be able to accelerate that,' Tustin said.
The entire project might take as long as five years to complete. Plans call for the service road to run parallel to Route 50 along its south side, eventually from Holly Grove Rd. to Seahawk Rd.
The road has been under consideration for several years. The county chose to tackle the project on its own after SHA declined to build it.
The project will be paid for with highway user funds from the state. According to Worcester County spokesperson Kim Moses, the county government has earmarked, so far, $3.2 million in those funds for the service road. Wal-Mart and Home Depot will also pay into the project, said Moses, as it affects their properties.