New traffic signal installation begins this week

The light traffic on Saturday morning, Nov. 9, belies the backups drivers usually experience during weekday rush hours at the busy intersection of state Route 328 and Black Dog Alley east of Easton. The State Highway Administration is scheduled to replace the flashing signal with a three-color traffic signal this week.

EASTON — With nearly 10,000 vehicles a day traveling state Route 328 (Matthewstown Road) and increased traffic on Black Dog Alley near Easton, the State Highway Administration hopes to alleviate commuting gridlock and improve safety by installing a traffic signal at this busy Talbot County intersection.

Workers will install the new signal on Wednesday, Nov. 13, or Thursday, Nov. 14, if the weather cooperates, SHA spokeman Robert Rager said.

The new signals will enhance safety by facilitating turns and crossing movements for Black Dog Alley drivers, particularly during peak commuting periods.

SHA will place temporary message boards along Route 328 to alert drivers of the new signal.

Work includes converting the existing flashing beacons to full-color traffic signals with video detection for improved traffic management, as well as signs and line striping.

Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble cautioned drivers to be alert at the intersection, “especially the Black Dog Alley traffic when you hit the green light. You really want to glance right and left to make sure people are actually stopping until people get used to the light there.”

“People should do that at any intersection, but especially since there has never been a traffic light there,” Gamble said. “Any time they install a new traffic light, there could be issues.”

“Heading eastbound on (Route) 328 with that hill just before George’s Green Thumb, they really need to be cautious when they come up over that rise because it is a 50 mph zone,” Gamble said. “They’re going to have to be alert, because it could be turning yellow or red.”

Rommel Engineering and Construction of Linthicum is expected to complete the project in two days for an estimated $30,000.

“MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for motorists, as well as our crews,” the agency stated in a press release about the project. “Drivers need to stay alert, focus on driving and, look for reduced speed limits, as well as other driving pattern changes. Drive like you work here and slowdown in construction zones.”

For a list of all major SHA projects, click on Road Ready, SHA’s electronic construction brochure, or visit www.roads.maryland.gov/Home.aspx. For a look at real-time commuting conditions, log onto md511.maryland.gov.

Follow me on Twitter @connie_stardem.

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