MdTA Releases Bay Crossing Choices, Will Hold “Open Houses”

 

Three preliminary corridor alternatives as well as no-build alternative are being retained for open houses in September and October.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), there are only three corridor alternatives that meet the purpose and need in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The purpose of the Bay Crossing Study is to consider alternatives for expanding access and traffic capacity across the Chesapeake Bay. The study is considering financial viability and environmental responsibility while hoping to improve mobility, reliability and safety at the existing Bay Bridge.

From coverage in the Bay Times:

The MDTA and Federal Highway Administration are following a tiered NEPA process that provides a systematic approach for advancing potential transportation improvements. The purpose of the Bay Crossing Study is to consider potential alternatives to provide expanded traffic capacity and additional access across the Chesapeake Bay to improve mobility, travel reliability and safety at the existing Bay Bridge, while considering financial viability and environmental responsibility. The study also looks at modal and operational transportation methods including ferry service, bus rapid transit, rail transit and transportation systems management/travel demand management.

The Bay Crossing Study Tier 1 is retaining the No-Build alternative and these Preliminary Corridor Alternatives Retained for Analysis:

• Corridor 6: MD 100 to US 301 between Pasadena (Anne Arundel County), Rock Hall (Kent County) and Centreville (Queen Anne’s County);

• Corridor 7: existing Bay Bridge corridor, US 50/301 to US 50 between Crofton (Anne Arundel County) and Queenstown (Queen Anne’s County); and

• Corridor 8: US 50/301 between Crofton (Anne Arundel County) and Easton (Talbot County).

Data indicates that each of the three corridor alternatives could have a positive impact on traffic. Corridor 7, the corridor where the existing Bay Bridge is today, provides the most congestion relief, according to MDTA. This corridor best relieves congestion at the existing Bay Bridge on both non-summer weekdays and summer weekends compared to all other corridors.

The open houses will provide a chance for MDTA to receive feedback as well as provide more information on the range of alternatives.

Governor Hogan, not long after the announcement, seemed to isolate the discussion, indicating that the only viable option in his view is expanding the current crossing from Sandy Point to Kent Island:

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