Feds Approve Plan for New Bay Bridge Crossing

Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) last week announced that federal officials approved a plan to build a new span for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge adjacent to the existing bridge.

The combined Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision (ROD) for the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study: Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been published and is available for review at baycrossingstudy.com.

MDTA studied several options for a new bridge before choosing “Corridor 7,” the area adjacent to the two spans connecting Anne Arundel County and Queen Anne’s County.

The Bay Crossing Study Tier 1 NEPA evaluated a range of alternatives to expand traffic capacity and access across the Chesapeake Bay, including a no-build option, four modal and operational options, and 14 corridor alternatives.

Any next steps would require additional environmental review through a Tier 2 NEPA Study. A Tier 2 NEPA Study would identify specific alignment alternatives within the two-mile-wide Selected Corridor Alternative identified during Tier 1.

According to an MDTA press release:

The combined FEIS/ROD focuses on updates to the February 2021 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was available for review and comment from February 23 through May 17, 2021. The DEIS content and analysis remain valid except where updated information is noted in the FEIS. The FEIS provides summaries of the more than 850 agency and public comments received and responds to substantive comments.

The FEIS also details the rationale and information supporting the selection of Corridor 7 as the Preferred Corridor Alternative (PCA). Through an alternative screening process derived from the Study’s purpose and need, including an extensive agency and public review and comment process, the combined FEIS/ROD concluded that the corridor containing the existing Bay Bridge – Corridor 7 – would have the most positive impact on reducing traffic at the Bay Bridge when compared to other alternatives and would improve access and mobility in this essential transportation corridor. The ROD officially documents Corridor 7 as the Selected Corridor Alternative.

The study is also available for review at several local libraries:

  • Broadneck Library
  • Kent Island Library
  • Centreville Library
  • Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library
  • Chestertown Main Library
  • Mountain Road Library
  • Crofton Library
  • Severna Park Library
  • Deale Library
  • St. Michaels Library
  • Easton Main Library
  • Twin Beaches Library
  • Twin Beaches Library

Visit the MDTA website for more information.