By Devin Bartolotta

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)– Maryland drivers who travel Route 50 toward the Eastern Shore are in for a smoother ride.

Monday morning, state officials opened an additional lane on the Severn River Bridge, hoping to relieve major bottleneck congestion.

The lane is finished and open a full month earlier than Gov. Larry Hogan promised — just in time for commissioning week at the Naval Academy and summer road trips.

A fourth lane is now open to traffic on the Severn River Bridge on Route 50.

Governor Larry Hogan, alongside highway administrators, cut the ribbon on the expedited $23 million upgrade Monday.

The added lane will tackle heavy traffic headed to Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“This opening of this new fourth lane on the Route 50 Severn Bridge is just in time for summer and it’s great news for residents of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and the Eastern Shore,” Gov. Hogan said.

Beach-bound traffic has long been the source of headaches and holdups for local drivers.

AAA projects more than 830,000 Marylanders will take Memorial Day road trips — a 1.2 increase over last year.

“I drive this area often. I come down one exit before usually. And it’s usually choked up, especially on the weekends,” one motorist said. “So I think the real test is going to be Friday afternoon.”

Traffic ran so smoothly Monday afternoon; some drivers paid no mind.

The orange cones are cleaned up but you’ll see plenty more throughout the state.

There are currently 821 road projects under construction in Maryland.

This summer is set to be one of the busiest road construction seasons on record in Maryland, with $3.7 million in active projects.

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