$500K In Safety Upgrades Coming To The Bay Bridge In Time For Summer

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Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — A new push to make the Chesapeake Bay Bridge safer. It’s part of a multi-million dollar, six-year plan to restore faith in the bridge–recently named the nation’s scariest.

Christie Ileto has more on the changes you’ll notice starting this summer.

Tragedy strikes in 2008. The driver of a tractor trailer dies while trying to avoid a head-on collision when another crosses into his lane.

Last March, a truck nearly overturns while crossing during a wind storm. The driver is fined.

And last summer, a Maryland college student survives a plunge into the bay after a tractor trailer driver rear-ends her.

“I feel like I’m a walking miracle,” survivor Morgan Lake said.

Those four miles hold a history of dangerous accidents. But Thursday, the MDTA is pushing to make your drive across the Bay Bridge safer.

“Even though we have a good overall safety rating, there are spots on the bridge where we have some congestion and we have people with inattentive driving,” said Bruce Gartner, Maryland Transportation Authority.

Half a million dollars in safety upgrades–including requiring drivers to turn on their headlights at all times and adding signage for those traveling along the curves of the bridge.

“I hope that somehow we can cut down on some of these accidents,” Kevin Duffy said.

Some additional signs you’ll soon see when crossing the Bay Bridge will tell you what your speed is, they will also warn you of congestion ahead, and, of  course, not to tailgate.

“We believe the combination of the signs will bring people’s attention more to keeping their eye on the road and what’s ahead of them,” Gartner said.

Ruth Gorskis agrees.

“It’s daily. I go over, come back,” she said. “I think it’s all great things to do to keep it safe.”

A way to curb a pattern of dangerous accidents–with safety upgrades coming in time for summer travel.

Those signs are going to be in place sometime by April or May.

MDTA has invested more than $210 million in upgrades over the last ten years and says it plans to invest $300 million more over the next six.

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