(Aug. 30, 2019) Drivers on Route 113 south of Snow Hill to the Delaware line can look forward to a safer highway by this winter. According to Brett Deane, assistant district engineer for the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), the highway should move from two to four lanes of traffic by the end of December at the latest, though it will not be the final riding surface.
Expansion of Route 113 has been in the works since 2003, when the stretch from Pocomoke to Snow Hill, and the south of Berlin to Delaware was dualized. This last phase, started at the end of 2017, will cover eight miles.
Since taking office in January 2015, Gov. Larry Hogan has made completing the project one of his priorities, because of its deadly history.
According to Jason Smith, the Maryland SHA area consultant for District 1, dualizing the highway will change that. Until then, Smith advises drivers in the area under construction to be cautious of work zones, construction workers in the roadway and temporary traffic patterns.
“They know we’re out there working, but they think you snap your fingers and next thing you know you have multiple lanes of traffic in the opposite direction,” Smith said. “The reality is it doesn’t necessarily work that way. There’s a lot of temporary phasing and temporary controls and things that go into arriving at that goal.”
Maryland SHA Community Liaison Bob Rager, however, said inclement weather could delay the project.
“If we get days and days of rain, that’s really going to screw us up,” Rager said. Rager hopes the next milestone of the project will start next week: shifting traffic to a mile-long section of the new highway north of Route 113 Business (East Market Street) in Snow Hill. The final two inches of riding surface is scheduled to be applied by spring of 2020.