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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


State, county officials eyeing traffic concerns

(Nov. 5, 2015) State and local officials say they’re aware of traffic concerns associated with the new Delmarva Health Pavilion on Route 589, and that several solutions are being explored in the short and long term.
Most of those options, however, seem to be conceptual at this point, as all levels of government struggle to find a way to make more happen with an ever-shrinking pool of tax dollars.
The facility, which opened its first building last Wednesday with Peninsula Regional Medical Center as the anchor tenant, will add four more buildings that total more than 100,000 square feet when all phases are completed.
Cheryl Jacobs, Vice President of the Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors, said she recently spoke with State Highway Administration District Engineer Donnie Drewer, who put her in contact with State Del. Mary Beth Carozza (R, 38C).
“What we’ve done is we’ve brought it to the attention of the appropriate people,” Jacobs said.
Carozza said she and Drewer have spoken “as individual concerns have come up,” and that she’s also been in contact with the Ocean Pines Board of Directors and the Worcester County Commissioners to develop what she called a “consensus recommendation.”
“Before you develop a recommendation on how to move forward I think we first have to understand what is the volume we’re talking here [and] what is the situation as it plays out, so if there’s going to be recommendations for either more signs or other options we have all the facts to back that up,” she said.
Carozza said that dualization of the highway was likely off the table for the foreseeable future, but that more immediate solutions could include increased signage and an “educational component.”
“That’s something that could be a short-term solution that I would think we might be able to look for immediate support for that,” she said. “I think we really need to break the issue down into what do we need to protect safety on the immediate basis, and then long term, as we see this build out and understand the usage, what do we need to do as far as an investment for the [future].”
PRMC Vice President Christopher Hall, on hand during the ribbon cutting on Oct. 28, said developer Palmer Gillis is taking the lead when it comes to traffic concerns.
“He works with the State Highway Administration, since the State Highway controls Racetrack Road … to provide different cutoffs,” he said. “They’re actually doing some interchange work in the near future on [Route] 90, and he’s also working with the Ocean Pines community to find other ways to provide access.”
At the county level, commissioners Diana Purnell and Chip Bertino both admitted no immediate actions were forthcoming,
“We’re working together with the state, but quite frankly we don’t have any answers today,” Bertino said.