UPDATE: MAJOR DELAYS AT BAY BRIDGE EXPECTED THIS SPRING AS WORK ADVANCES AND TRAFFIC VOLUMES RISE
Significant Backups Expected St. Patrick’s, Easter Weekends;
Motorists Urged to Travel Off-Peak
Center Lane Closures
The MDTA is preparing for an aggressive construction schedule in the coming weeks that will advance the project to rehabilitate the Bay Bridge westbound right lane. In the coming weeks, mid-day westbound center lane closures may take place weekdays between the morning and afternoon rush hours. The center lane closures are necessary to give crews a safe work zone as they pour concrete onto the right lane. The center lane closures may occur Monday through Friday, any time between 10 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. daily, though the exact schedule will depend on weather, traffic volumes and work progress.
Spring Brings Progress, Travel Delays Expected
While MDTA may adjust the construction schedule to avoid peak travel periods, motorists should allow extra travel time when crossing the bridge and expect major delays in both directions as spring approaches and traffic volumes increase. Major weekend delays are anticipated as more people travel to the Eastern Shore for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, spring break and warmer weekends in late April. In previous years during April, Bay Bridge motorists experienced weekend delays even when two-way traffic operations were in place to help alleviate eastbound delays. Weekend delays have the potential to extend to I-97 eastbound and the US 50/301 split westbound, even without weather impacts and incidents.
MDTA is asking motorists to plan ahead and travel the Bay Bridge during these off-peak periods:
• St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 15, the best times to travel will be before 10 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
• Easter weekend, Thursday, April 9, through Sunday, April 12, the best times to travel will be before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. On Monday, April 13, the best times will be before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
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. With all-electronic tolling, cash will not be accepted as payment at the time of travel. Drivers won’t have to stop to pay tolls, as overhead gantries collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass® or Video Tolling. To get ready for all-electronic tolling, toll lanes 3, 4 and 5 have been closed so crews can construct the free-flowing traffic lanes through the existing tolling structure. Work on installing the overhead tolling gantry on the Eastern Shore side between the bridge and MD 8 is ongoing. Motorists also will see work for utility relocation, roadway reconstruction and installation of the gantry.
Information provided by:
Maryland Transportation Authority