BAY BRIDGE PROGRESS
TEMPORARY CENTER LANE CLOSURES WESTBOUND WILL HELP EXPEDITE #BAYBRIDGEWORK PROJECT
Off-Peak Closures Take Advantage of Lower Volumes to Complete Winter Work
Westbound Right Lane Remains Closed 24/7; Work Underway for All-Electronic Tolling
BALTIMORE, MD – As part of the Maryland Transportation Authority’s (MDTA) continuing efforts to expedite the #BayBridgeWork project, temporary off-peak closures of the center lane of the westbound Bay Bridge (US 50/301) is scheduled to resume Wednesday, January 29, weather permitting. Crews will take advantage of lower winter traffic volumes, when nearly 90% of Bay Bridge drivers use E-ZPass®, to advance the rehabilitation of the westbound right lane while avoiding morning and afternoon rush hours.
Motorists should expect center lane closures any time between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. weekdays, weather and traffic volumes permitting. MDTA will continue to evaluate the timeframe and may adjust the schedule based on weather and traffic volumes.
During the center lane closures, the remaining lane will be 11 feet wide, meaning wide loads – vehicles wider than 10 feet – will be prohibited. Operators of wide-load vehicles should adjust westbound travel times and can sign up for email and text alerts at mdta.maryland.gov and subscribe to #BayBridgeWork for commercial vehicle notifications.
The center lane closures will give crews a safe work zone to pour concrete onto the westbound right lane, filling 22 bridge joints and eight full-depth puncture holes. The combination of industrial heaters and daytime temperatures will allow curing of the rapid set concrete. The material for these pours is different from the latex modified concrete that is being used for the deck overlay. In fact, pouring this rapid set concrete for the bridge joints and puncture holes now will streamline the latex modified concrete pours when this works resumes with warmer weather. Unlike the rapid set concrete, the latex material requires temperatures of at least 45 degrees and a five-day curing process.
The project is necessary because the westbound right lane surface has reached the end of its service life and is severely deteriorated. As a result of the accelerated schedule MDTA undertook last fall, mechanical and hydro milling work has been completed. Crews also have been able to place 54% of the latex modified concrete needed for the project.
Meanwhile, work began this month on another critical project for the Bay Bridge: implementing all-electronic tolling by summer. Toll lanes 3, 4 and 5 remain closed, allowing crews to demolish some existing toll booths to create wider lanes at the Bay Bridge plaza. On the Eastern Shore side of the bridge, crews will prepare for installation of the overhead tolling gantry between the Bay Bridge and MD 8 on Kent Island.
WHAT WILL MOTORISTS SEE NEXT?
In the coming weeks and months, motorists will see additional work for the westbound deck project including: replacement of overhead signals and steel rail posts, deck sealing and deck/joint repairs in the center and left lanes during overnight hours. Motorists also will see work underway on the eastbound all-electronic tolling project including: utility relocation, roadway reconstruction and installation of the new eastbound tolling gantry between the bridge and MD 8. MDTA asks motorists and communities to bear with us as the work advances, and all drivers should continue to stay alert in work zones.
For the latest on Bay Bridge traffic, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. To sign up for email/text alerts or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. For updates on major incidents follow the MDTA on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA.