BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The US 50 corridor is a major artery in our region, but it’s often plagued by severe traffic. That may soon change.

Preparations for the project to add a lane to alleviate traffic have already begun.

The Severn River Bridge will be reconfigured and expanded in hopes that will alleviate congestion.

US 50 is a major route connecting Washington D.C. with Ocean City. The roadway is popular with commuters and beachgoers. It gets especially congested during rush hour and summer travel months.

“I just think there are too many cars coming from the exit at once, and people are slowing down,” said driver Brittney Barlow.

Now, the State Highway Administration is adding an additional eastbound lane on the Severn River Bridge, starting at Rowe Blvd., which runs along the gridlock prone corridor.

“This important Route 50 corridor connects Marylanders to jobs, recreations, and opportunities,” Gov. Larry Hogan said. “But every single day, 126,000 drivers are faced with serious backup that plagues this bridge and stretch of Route 50.”

“It gets pretty tough sometimes,” said driver  Matt Sindler. “A little crowded around rush hour.”

The project includes shifting the existing median barrier, narrowing its existing lanes, and re-striping the road, bumping the available lanes to four on the eastbound side. There are three lanes westbound.

Cones and barriers are already in place at the shoulder of Route 50 in preparation of the work. Construction won’t start until after Labor Day.

Officials say the change will boost the bridge’s capacity to handle congestion for the next 10-15 years. Much needed relief for a corridor projected to see growing traffic volume through the year 2040.

Gov. Hogan says construction will happen during off-peak hours and at night. He says it should be done before Memorial Day.

There will be no lane closures during daytime hours, and the project will cost $22.8 million.

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