ARRIVING ON THE WESTERN SHORE: NEXT PHASE OF
BAY BRIDGE AUTOMATED LANE CLOSURE SYSTEM BEGINS
PAY ATTENTION, OBEY TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES
New system includes full-color dynamic message signs, larger overhead lane-use
control signals, horizontal swing gates and illuminated pavement markers
BALTIMORE, MD (March 1, 2023) – Starting the week of March 6, motorists traveling eastbound during two-way traffic on the westbound span will experience the Bay Bridge’s new Automated Lane Closure System on the Western Shore along US 50/301. The new system is designed to enhance safety for motorists and workers by replacing the use of barrels to close off lanes with overhead signals and other features.
In November, the Maryland Transportation Authority began phased implementation of the new lane closure system on the Eastern Shore of the bridge. Since then, motorists traveling westbound during two-way traffic on the westbound span have been guided by overhead lane-use control signals and accompanying system features including full-color dynamic message signs, horizontal swing gates and illuminated pavement markers to alert and guide motorists when lanes are opening and closing to accommodate traffic operations.
On the Western Shore, the lane-use control signals and full-color message signs – a first in Maryland – start 2.5 miles before the Bay Bridge on eastbound US 50/301, giving drivers more notice than ever of bridge lane closures ahead.
Eastbound view from the Western Shore of overhead lane-use control signals.
The new gates and other features of the Automated Lane Closure System help protect Maryland Transportation Authority employees by replacing a manual process with automation, and improve safety for drivers by giving them more time to move into the correct lanes, allowing for safer lane changes and helping prevent secondary crashes during incidents.
The new lane closure system also enhances incident response, enabling crews to switch between lane closure scenarios more rapidly during incidents.
“While we know we will continue to have recurring congestion from traffic volumes exceeding the capacity of the bridge, we’re excited to see the safety benefits from the new closure system,” said Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Director William Pines. “We expect the additional information provided as part of the new system will help motorists avoid getting into incidents that further exacerbate the Bay Bridge traffic challenge.”
Motorists are reminded that police enforcement activities are continuing for motorists failing to obey the lane-use control signals. Please stay alert help keep yourself, your fellow travelers and Maryland Transportation Authority workers safe.
It is important to note that barrels will still be used along with the new gates as motorists become acclimated to this innovative new Automated Lane Closure System. For more information, including a video simulation of the system, visit mdta.maryland.gov/Capital_Projects/BayBridgeALCS.
The Maryland Transportation Authority reminds motorists that all-electronic tolling is statewide with E-ZPass, Pay-By-Plate or Video Tolling as payment methods. At the Bay Bridge, tolls are collected via overhead electronic toll gantry located on the Eastern Shore. Always properly mount your E-ZPass transponder and keep your account up to date to receive the lowest toll rate. Learn more, enroll in E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate, and pay Video Tolls at DriveEzMD.com.
For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Sign up for email/text alerts at https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn. Find us at facebook.com/TheMDTA. Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.