EASTON — Calling the latest traffic snarl "unacceptable," Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot, called the Maryland Department of Transportation and the State Highway Administration (SHA) District Engineer on Thursday, June 7, after fielding numerous calls about the morning rush hour gridlock at the intersection of Easton Parkway (State Route 322) and Peachblossom Road.
Construction crews are conducting daytime patching and microsurfacing repairs, and therein lies the problem, Mautz said.
"We need to have a meeting about daytime work," Mautz said. "One-lane (closures don't) work on the main arteries."
At 9:30 a.m., Mautz said that he had explained the problem to SHA, which agreed to change the roadwork schedule to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of the original 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. schedule.
SHA was not willing to change to a night work schedule, but "I'm grateful they're willing to work with us," Mautz said. "Kids are on school buses with 20- to 30-minute delays."
Last month, Mautz worked with the SHA to switch the Route 33 construction project from Pea Neck Road in St. Michaels to Route 322 from day to night work because of traffic congestion that caused hour-long waits for commuters and students.
One commuter on Peachblossom Road said it took 30 minutes to get through the intersection. She said she saw other drivers making dangerous U-turns to avoid the tie-up.
"I'm not sure this will resolve the issue, but I think it will help improve the situation," Mautz said. "I'm going to keep watching and listening to see how it goes."