By Rick Ritter

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Heavy traffic and delays. If you’re headed to the shore this weekend, that’s what you might be faced with. The State Highway Administration will shut down eastbound Route 50, just east of I-97 near Annapolis. This comes after a sinkhole damaged the highway a few weeks back.

Rick Ritter has what you need to know before you hit the road.

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The SHA says it needs to repair a damaged pipe.

Repairs are expected to take several nights, and officials are urging drivers to give yourself more time, especially if you’re headed to the shore.

Route 50 is heavily traveled and a main route to the Eastern Shore. But the SHA says it is left with no choice but to shut down parts of Route 50 starting Thursday night.

“It’s inconvenient,” said Andrea Williams, driver.

On June 4, a three-foot sinkhole tore apart Route 50 near Annapolis. This after a partial collapse of an underground pipe.

“It was an emergency repair. We got out there and filled it up and were able to open the road by next morning,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, SHA.

That was temporary patch. Now SHA needs a permanent fix.

“Anytime you hear a report of something like a sinkhole, you’re concerned,” Burnette Edgar said.

Starting Thursday at 8 p.m., crews will shut down two lanes along eastbound Route 50 near I-97 and then all eastbound lanes at 10 p.m. Work stretches until 5 a.m. Friday.

“Fix the pipe, restore the drainage and we’ll be able to open it back up,” Burnette Edgar said.

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Burnette Edgar says the detour is simple, directing motorists to Aris T. Allen Boulevard. And crews won’t work Friday to leave lanes clear for weekend beachgoers.

“We won’t be anywhere near that day,” Burnette Edgar said.

Still, drivers say they aren’t looking forward to the headaches no matter what time construction is.

“Not 8 at night, that’s a prime time I feel like, right at rush hour,” said Andrea Williams, driver.

“It’s already pretty much a nightmare to begin with,” said Bob Ross, driver.

And they’re questioning the timing.

“‘Cause the summer is so heavy, all days,” Williams said.

But the SHA says it’s a repair that can’t wait any longer.

“The drainage pipe is kind of critical to be able to have flow of water underneath the road,” Burnette Edgar said.

Depending on weather, crews say they hope to complete work Sunday night– possibly, even later.

Crews were supposed to start work Wednesday night but the SHA postponed construction due to the possibility of rain.

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Rick Ritter