Heavy traffic expected this weekend, MDOT SHA suspends non-emergency lane closures

News Release, Maryland Department of Transportation-State Highway Administration

(Aug. 30, 2019) – With fuel prices remaining steady, hundreds of thousands of Marylanders will begin saying goodbye to summer by traveling throughout the state for the Labor Day weekend. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is suspending non-emergency lane closures until Tuesday, Sept. 3 to help traffic move smoothly on area roadways during the long weekend.

MDOT SHA is also adding additional patrols to key locations to help expedite lane openings following disabled vehicles, crashes or debris in the roadway. Motorists are urged to “Leave Early and Stay Late” to help reduce congestion, especially on Eastern Shore routes.

As the weekend comes to an end, drivers returning from the Atlantic Coast beaches are urged to remain on US 50 (Ocean Gateway) and not detour off onto smaller roads. US 50 is designed for higher traffic volumes; the local roads are not and quickly become gridlocked.

And, remember, most area schools are back in session on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Don’t forget to “Look Up and Look Out” for pedestrians and bicyclists as almost 900,000 students statewide return to school.

It’s a good idea to check on critical vehicle systems before venturing out on the road. Make sure there are ample tread and appropriate pressure in tires. Also, ensure that coolant hoses are not leaking and there is enough coolant in the reservoirs.

Should a mechanical breakdown occur, motorists should pull as far to the shoulder as possible, remain in the vehicle and dial #77 or call 9-1-1.

If you do plan to travel this holiday weekend, please keep in mind the following safety tips:

  • Buckle up! It’s the law. All seats, all ages, all the time – yes, even the backseat;
  • Don’t drive after drinking. Designate a sober driver;
  • Park the cell phone and mobile device and pay close attention to the road ahead;
  • Get plenty of rest before hitting the road;
  • Take activities and snacks for kids to keep them occupied;
  • Have alternate routes planned in case you encounter a road closure from a collision; and
  • Travel at the posted speed limit.

Please visit md511.maryland.gov for real-time traffic alerts and lane closures and real-time Chesapeake Bay Bridge information at 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726).

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