The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced a series of steps to shorten the time frame of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge rehabilitation project and improve traffic for all drivers. MDTA is replacing the bridge deck surface in the right lane of the westbound span of the Bridge.
Actions that MDTA are taking include the following:
- Extra Crews to Work Around the Clock.
- Work on the Bridge will now be done seven days a week in both day and night shifts. Cashless tolling will continue to start at 12 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, but will end at 8 pm (instead of 10 pm) to allow crews to implement two-way operations on the eastbound span early and close the westbound span for overnight hydromilling and concrete placement.
- Crews to Work Through Thanksgiving Week.
- In order to expedite the project, works will continue their work through Thanksgiving Week. This will help achieve significant time savings will be because crews are not only gaining the week to work, but they will not have to stop work progress weeks ahead of the holiday and spend time preparing the right lane for traffic, removing all the jersey barriers, and restriping the lanes.
- Tourism Office Promotes ‘Go Early, Stay Late’ Offers. Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of
Tourism is coordinating new offers to encourage travelers to ‘Go Early, Stay Late,’ including
enhancing its ‘Home for the Holidays’ initiative.
- From MDTA’s Press Release:
“In light of current Bay Bridge travel patterns, we are working with our tourism partners on the
Eastern Shore to encourage travelers to ‘Go Early, Stay Late,’” said Maryland Department of
Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “The Maryland Office of Tourism’s ‘Home for the
Holidays’ initiative includes hotel packages and discounts in the Eastern Shore region, and
promotion of events as a way to continue to draw visitors, while providing incentives for
traveling during off-peak times.”
- Moving to All-Electronic Tolling. Workers will demolish specific toll booths to create wider lanes within the plaza and will install overhead tolling gantries to implement cashless tolling full-time next year. Next, additional construction will take place to demolish the entire toll plaza, reconstruct the roadway and fill-in the toll collector access tunnel.
- Improving the Flow and Direction of Traffic. SHA has dispatched additional CHART vehicles to address incidents on US 50 and parallel routes during periods of peak traffic. MDTA is working with
Queen Anne’s and Anne Arundel County leaders to negotiate a solution and find a balanced
approach to westbound and eastbound traffic approaching the bridge.
- Redoubled Efforts to Engage Local Residents. In addition to meetings with county officials, MDTA officials attended the recent Bay Crossing Study Open Houses in Severn, Stevensville, and last night in Annapolis to hear citizens’ concerns and share information about the deck project.