Thomas L. Osborne, executive secretary of the Maryland Transportation Authority, resigned yesterday in response to recent problems in the paving of a section of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that are expected to cost $7 million and delay traffic for months.

Osborne stated in an authority news release that he believes a change in leadership would ensure public confidence in a consultant's review to determine whether fault lies with the state, the project's engineer or the construction company.

As executive secretary, Osborne oversaw day-to-day operations of the authority, which runs the state's seven toll facilities. Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan, who serves as chairman of the six-member authority, accepted Osborne's resignation and said his decision "reflects his dedication to serving the people of Maryland."

Pending the appointment of a successor, the authority has assigned Deputy Executive Secretary Daniel F. McMullen to oversee daily operations. The authority said it would move promptly to fill the position.

The paving problem affects two miles of one of the westbound lanes of the bridge, where a four-year, $60 million project to overhaul the span is a little beyond the halfway point. Flanagan has said that two inches of concrete were scraped off the road surface and that when a different type of concrete was poured, it did not bond and began to crack.

The construction company, Cianbro Corp., based in Pittsfield, Maine, has said the problem is not its fault.

A Maryland Senate committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the situation today.

Osborne is a former deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation. He previously worked as director of the department's office of policy and governmental affairs and as Anne Arundel County's director of planning and director of inspections and permits.