Draft map shows 14 possible sites stretching from Harford to St. Mary’s County.

A preliminary map of sites shows a myriad of locations where a second Chesapeake Bay bridge could be constructed. The map is part a $5 million study commissioned by the Maryland Transportation Authority called the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study. The study has proposed 14 different sites up and down the peninsula that would aid traffic in crossing the Chesapeake Bay.

Courtesy of The Cheseapeake Bay Crossing Study

Some of the proposed locations include two sites connecting to the I-95 in Hartford County, three in Baltimore County, and one next to the existing William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge. A previous study conducted in 2015 proposed building a new five-lane bridge at the existing site and demolishing the old bridge structures. The 4.3-mile bridge is the primary connection for travelers visiting Maryland’s Eastern Shore. 

Approximately 27.2 million vehicles cross the bridge each year. Traffic, auto accidents, and high winds can cause hours-long delays to cross the bridge, especially during the summer tourist season. The bridge is also frequently under construction, restricting the number of lanes open to traffic. The Maryland Transportation Authority has tried to alleviate congestion on the bridges by adjusting pricing on tolls during peak and off-peak times. The MTA has also encouraged residents and frequent visitors to use E-Z Pass and to purchase special bulk discount toll packages.

The Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study will be holding a series of open houses this spring where the public can comment on the proposed bridge sites. Construction of a new bridge could have both positive and negative impacts to counties where these bridge sites have been proposed. The final Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study is expected to be completed by 2020.

Do you think the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is too congested? Where do you think they should build a second bridge? Let us know in the comments!

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