Reaching The Beach:


How To 'Reach The Beach' In MD This Memorial Day Weekend

Heading to the Eastern Shore for Memorial Day? Here are the MD roads to avoid and other tips to get you there safely and without delay.

Maryland officials are offering travelers some helpful tips on how to get to places like Ocean City or the Assateague Island National Seashore safely and with minimal interruption for Memorial Day weekend 2024. (Shutterstock / Eliyahu Yosef Parypa)

Driving to the Eastern Shore is always a challenge, so the Maryland Department of Transportation offered some helpful tips for residents and travelers planning a trip to the state's beaches this Memorial Day weekend.

Nearly 43.8 million travelers plan to take a trip 50 miles or more from home over the Memorial Day holiday, according to a recently released AAA forecast. That's a 4 percent increase from last year and possibly a record-breaking number since AAA began tracking travel activity in 2000.

Maryland will likely be no exception to this prediction, and state officials are reminding travelers how to get to places like Ocean City or the Assateague Island National Seashore safely and with minimal interruption.

    "The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is ready to assist hundreds of thousands of travelers 'Reach the Beach' this summer by improving the driving experience along state roads heading to the Eastern Shore," state transportation officials said in a news release.

    First, travelers are likely to notice a smoother ride on several highways leading to popular summer destinations, state officials said.

    Since last summer, the Maryland State Highway Administration has improved the surface of the following roads:

    • Eastbound US 50/US 301 (John Hanson Highway) between Whitehall Road and Oceanic Drive and the eastbound US 50 ramp from Busch’s Frontage Road to Pointless Forest Trail in Anne Arundel County;
    • Eastbound US 50 (Ocean Gateway) between MD 404 (Queen Anne Highway) and MD 662 (Longwoods Road) in Talbot County;
    • Westbound US 50 between Mill Road and Linkwood Road in Dorchester County;
    • Westbound US 50 west of Old Ocean Gateway and Linkwood Road in Dorchester County;
    • Westbound US 50 between MD 818 (Main Street) to the Worcester/Wicomico County line;
    • Eastbound and westbound MD 378 (Baltimore Avenue) between N. Division Street and 15th Street in downtown Ocean City;
    • MD 90 (Ocean City Expressway) between MD 575 (Worcester Highway) and MD 528 (Coastal Highway); and

    Pavement restriping was also completed at various locations on the Coastal Highway in Ocean City, officials said.

    Ongoing Road Projects

    State transportation officials also plan to increase patrols on the Eastern Shore beginning May 18 through early October. Patrols will be available to help disabled vehicles, remove road debris and assist with clearing crashes to keep lanes open and traffic moving.

    Expect delays if you're on the Broadneck Peninsula in Anne Arundel County as the state continues work on the US 50/US 301 Ramp Management Project. Starting May 17 through Aug. 31, the on-ramp from Oceanic Drive (Exit 32) onto eastbound US 50/US 301 will be closed from 10 a.m. Fridays to 6 p.m. Saturdays.

    During those times, drivers wanting to access eastbound US 50/US 301 must enter from Exit 29 (MD 179 at Busch’s Frontage Road) or Exit 30 (Whitehall Road).

    "These efforts are part of ongoing evaluations to mitigate increased travel volumes in the Broadneck Peninsula during the summer travel season," state transportation officials said.

    A similar ramp management project is also underway in Queen Anne’s County for US 50/301 in the Kent Island area. Starting May 19 and continuing through Sept. 2, on-ramps from MD 8 to westbound US 50/301 and Duke Street to westbound US 50/301 will be closed starting at noon until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays.

    Share The Road

    State officials are also reminding travelers to share the road this Memorial Day weekend and to make safety their "number one priority."

    "Each summer, the weekend population in Ocean City is nearly 300,000, making it the state’s second most populated municipality," officials said. "Drivers should share the road with bicyclists, watch out for pedestrians and look twice for motorcyclists."

    Is Your Car Road Ready?

    To avoid any unwanted breakdowns on the side of the road, travelers should check tires to ensure proper tread and inflation. They should also check their vehicle's cooling system for any defects and make sure all vehicle lighting systems are operational.

    Drivers in need of roadside assistance may dial #77 on their mobile devices.

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