Citing increasing congestion, Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s renewed calls for a modern bridge linking the eastern and western ends of the Chesapeake Bay.
First opened in 1952, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has been central to economic development on both sides of the bay. That development has seen an explosion in the number of residents, commuters, and tourists within the region. This burst of activity has coincided with ever-increasing commuter flows, so much so that the bridge can no longer efficiently support the current level of traffic. As a result, wait times for crossing have grown from inconvenient to excessive. Anne Arundel County Council Member Amanda Fiedler cited one incident where a young student was forced to wait for over two hours and was in desperate need of a bathroom.
In response to the growing level of congestion, Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Counties are spearheading a coalition of 12 counties and several municipalities, including Ocean City, in an effort to spur the construction of a modern bay bridge. The coalition favors a single eight-lane bridge near the current bridge site, which would support existing infrastructure investments and allow for continued growth. Over two decades ago, the bridge surpassed its projected five-decade life span. The construction of a new bridge is central to the region’s high quality of life and continued development.