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ST. PATRICK’S WEEKEND EVENTS EXPECTED TO BRING INCREASED TRAFFIC AT BAY BRIDGE

 

BAY BRIDGE PROGRESS: ALL LANES OPEN BY SUMMER 2020

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                             Contact:  John Sales

March 12, 2020                                                                                                                                  410-537-1017

 

ST. PATRICK’S WEEKEND EVENTS EXPECTED TO BRING

INCREASED TRAFFIC AT BAY BRIDGE

As #BayBridgeWork Advances, Motorists Encouraged to Plan Ahead and Travel Off Peak

 

BALTIMORE, MD – With crews this week hitting the 77% mark for concrete pours on the rehabilitation of the Bay Bridge westbound right lane, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) remains on pace to reopen all lanes by summer 2020. Motorists are reminded to plan ahead and travel off peak to avoid delays as this critical work continues, and be aware that the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day, March 13-15, is expected to bring additional traffic to the bridge as Marylanders travel for holiday events.

During the extended St. Patrick’s Day weekend, there will be no mid-day center lane closures for concrete pours. Nevertheless, holiday travel and warmer weather are expected to result in weekend delays. Motorists are advised that the best times to travel the Bay Bridge between Friday, March 13, and Sunday, March 15, will be before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

Motorists should expect major delays at the bridge during Easter weekend and the last two weekends in April. In previous years during April, motorists experienced weekend delays even when two-way traffic operations were used to help alleviate eastbound delays. This year, weekend delays have the potential to reach 10 miles without weather impacts and incidents due to the westbound right lane 24/7 closure that also prevents two-way operations eastbound.

Recommended Bay Bridge travel times for Easter weekend are prior to 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. between Thursday, April 9, and Sunday, April 12; and prior to 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. Monday, April 13.

 

The table at right shows approximate travel times associated with backups at the Bay Bridge, without two-way traffic operations eastbound, and with the right lane closed 24/7 westbound. For example, a westbound backup of five miles would extend approximately to Kent Narrows, and it could be expected to take up to 40 minutes to get to the Bay Bridge. A 10-mile westbound backup would reach to US 50/301 split and take about 80 minutes to get to the bridge. An eastbound backup of five miles would extend to the Severn River Bridge and would take about 40 minutes to get to the Bay Bridge. A 10-mile backup would reach Interstate-97 and take about 80 minutes to get to the bridge. These estimated travel times do not include traffic incidents or weather impacts, which could create further delays.

Implementation of two-way traffic – one eastbound lane directed onto the westbound span to provide three eastbound lanes – will be based on traffic volumes and weather conditions. MDTA Police will continue to work with Maryland State Police and local law enforcement to assist with traffic flow on US 50 and parallel routes. Bay Bridge drivers are reminded to stay on US 50 to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents. The MDTA encourages all drivers to continue to stay alert in work zones and asks motorists and communities to remain patient as the work advances. 

The westbound right lane deck rehabilitation is necessary because the lane surface has reached the end of its service life and is severely deteriorated. Crews have completed pouring of new latex modified concrete on about 77% of the westbound span’s right lane. This latex concrete needs temperatures of at least 45 degrees and a five-day curing process. After the final paving of the westbound right lane is complete, crews will prepare the lane for traffic by removing work zone barriers and restriping the lane.

All-Electronic Tolling Update

Along with reopening of the westbound right lane, all-electronic tolling also will be in place at the Bay Bridge by summer. Work to get ready for all-electronic tolling, including installation of a new overhead tolling gantry on the Eastern Shore side between the bridge and MD 8, is about 50% percent complete, and motorists will see additional work in the coming weeks. Once all-electronic tolling is in place, cash will not be accepted as payment at the time of travel. Drivers won’t have to stop to pay tolls, as overhead gantries will collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass® or Video Tolling. Remember to get your E-ZPass® at www.ezpassmd.com.

For the latest on Bay Bridge traffic, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. Sign up for email/text alerts here https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways by visiting 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.

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