On April 26, the Maryland Transportation Authority will host an informational open house at the Nice/Middleton Bridge Automotive Shop in Newburg, MD. The event aims to inform motorists and bicyclists about bicycle lane-sharing features and solicit comments about bicycle access on the new Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial/Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge (US 301).
The new bridge, which opened to traffic on October 12, 2022, includes more than $2 million in features to accommodate lane sharing for bicyclists. This system includes warning signs, push-button-activated flashing warning beacons, and bicycle-friendly modular expansion joints that were used instead of finger joints, which are typically used on MDTA bridges.
With two 12-foot-wide lanes and a 2-foot shoulder in each direction, the new bridge accommodates bicyclists in the right lane in both the northbound and southbound directions. Before entering the bridge, bicyclists push a button to activate the flashing warning beacons, which will operate for 10 to 15 minutes to alert drivers of the presence of a bicyclist on the bridge.
During the open house, attendees can view display boards and speak with staff to learn more about the new bicycle lane-sharing features. There will be no formal presentation, and visitors may arrive anytime between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The Maryland Transportation Authority welcomes all comments about bicycle access on the new bridge, including safe hours and days of operation. The informational open house materials and comment form are available at nicemiddletonbridge.com, and the comment period will close at 5 p.m. on May 10, 2023.
The new bridge doubles capacity, improves safety and enhances emergency response and maintenance/inspection activities. The previous bridge had a single 11-foot-wide lane in each direction, while the new bridge has wider lanes and shoulders, making it safer for all users.
The Maryland Transportation Authority will review and consider public input before finalizing and implementing the bicycle lane-sharing features. With the addition of these features, the Nice/Middleton Bridge aims to be a safer and more accessible transportation option for bicyclists in Maryland and Virginia.
Overall, the open house allows members of the public to learn more about the new bicycle features and provide feedback to the Maryland Transportation Authority. By soliciting input from the community, the Authority hopes to create a safer and more accessible transportation option for all users of the Nice/Middleton Bridge.