Respected Lower Eastern Shore Public Official Worked Tirelessly to Make US 113 Safer
Widening Project Starts Early Next Year
Berlin, Md. – Honoring a lifetime of service to Country and State, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced a 14-mile section of US 113 (Worcester Highway) between Berlin and Snow Hill on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore is being dedicated to the late Delegate K. Bennett Bozman. Serving Worcester and Wicomico counties in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1991 until his death in 2006, Delegate Bozman advocated for the widening of US 113 in Worcester County to a four-lane divided highway. Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown also announced today $49 million in new construction funding to widen US 113 to a four-lane divided highway from north of Five Mile Branch Road to south of Massey Branch, a distance of 3.75 miles.
“As a Delegate and firefighter for the Berlin Fire Company, Bennett fought to make US 113 safer for the families he proudly served,” said Governor O’Malley. “He was a true gentleman who, through kindness and cooperation, was known for his effort to make our roadways safer and our waterways cleaner. Providing the funding to make this roadway safer and dedicating a section of US 113 in Bennett’s honor is a fitting tribute to a man who always put the needs of his constituents first.”
Widening US 113 to a four-lane divided highway has been a major focus for local officials, residents and highway safety advocates on the Lower Eastern Shore for many years. US 113 is a 38-mile, north-south roadway extending through Worcester County from just north of the Virginia State Line to the Delaware State Line. While a majority of the roadway has been widened to a four-lane divided highway, a nine-mile portion remains a two-lane undivided road. Thanks to the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown added $10.7 million last summer for right-of-way acquisition for this widening project.
“This $49 million investment is proof that when we work together with our partners in Federal and local government, we can make it easier and safer to travel on the Eastern Shore and throughout Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Delegate Bozman worked every day to make a difference, and by dedicating this road in his honor, Marylanders will now be reminded of his commitment to both his community and our entire state.”
“Bennett was a close friend and colleague who was widely respected by his constituents and those he served with in Annapolis for his efforts to improve the quality of life for Lower Eastern Shore families,” said Delegate Conway. “As a firefighter, he personally responded to several tragic accidents along US 113 and worked closely with State officials to make this roadway safer. I thank Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for honoring this request and providing these funds to make US 113 safer.”
“Dedicating US 113 to Bennett Bozman is a living tribute to a tremendous public servant, Bennett Bozman; I am thankful for his service.” said Senator Jim Mathias. “The Governor and Lt. Governor have once again demonstrated their commitment to public safety and have been responsive to the concerns of residents of the Eastern Shore by allocating funds for this important widening project and honoring the request to dedicate US 113 to Bennett. I am grateful for this recognition of Bennett and his family.”
During a dedication ceremony today with family, friends and local officials, Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. praised Delegate Bozman for his years of public service and untiring efforts to improve safety along US 113.
“Bennett’s compassion for others and passion for highway safety make today’s dedication and funding announcement bittersweet,” said Transportation Secretary Smith. “His legacy of service will live on, as will his efforts to enhance the safety of motorists who drive along US 113.”
“My family is honored to have Bennett recognized this way,” said Mrs. Betty Ann Bozman. “He was such a caring person and I know that he is pleased to not only have this honor, but also that the project is moving forward – a dream coming true.”
Throughout his efforts to enhance traffic safety along US 113, Delegate Bozman worked closely with numerous community and safety groups, including the County Residents Action for Safer Highways (CRASH).
“This is a wonderful day for Worcester County thanks to the efforts of Bennett,” said CRASH Chairman Bob Hulburd. “We worked side by side on this project over the years and it is great to see him being recognized for all the hard work. He’d be happy to know this highway is going forward. Because of his and many others’ efforts, lives have been and will be saved.”
The project will be advertised this spring as a design/build project to speed up the start of construction, which is expected to begin early next year. US 113 carries between 7,000 vehicles per day, peaking to more than 12,000 vehicles per day in the summer months.
Erin Henson, MDOT, 410-865-1028
Valerie Burnette Edgar, SHA, 410-545-0303