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Construction causes 12-mile traffic backup on Route 50

Planned bridge construction that has one lane of Route 50 west closed in Queenstown caused a 12-mile traffic backup Sunday afternoon, according to the State Highway Administration.

The backup stretched from the bridge over Route 301 in Queenstown to just before Old Skipton Road in the Cordova area, according to Charlie Gischlar, a SHA spokesman.

"That's a pretty major backup," he said.

Gischlar suggested drivers take Route 213 to Route 301 to avoid the backup.

The construction began last week to replace the driving surface on the bridge, which has been patched many times but finally needed to be completely replaced, Gischlar said. The bridge does not have structural issues, he said.

One lane of the bridge is closed, forcing two lanes of traffic to merge into one, he said.

The SHA planned the construction to begin after the beach season, and it will likely be completed in the spring, Gischlar said.

"We're trying to get in there and get it done quickly," he said.

Until Sunday, the lane closure had not caused major delays, he said.

Gischlar said he suspected the backup Sunday was caused by a flood of "people trying to get away one last weekend" to the Eastern Shore heading home all at once.

krector@baltsun.com

twitter.com/rectorsun

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