$5 Million Study Set for New Chesapeake Bay Crossing

BALTIMORE (WJZ)–It can be a traffic nightmare for commuters and vacationers alike. The Chesapeake Bay bridge is notorious for its massive backups.

Now, Governor Larry Hogan has signed off on a new study looking into a third crossing across the Chesapeake Bay.

The Bay Bridge carries more than 70,000 cars a day and that number is only expected to rise.

“It’s horrible. You can sit in traffic for an hour or more, really,” said Keri Adams.

Gridlock traffic near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is an all too familiar headache.

“The reality is that there is simply too much traffic and that in the years to come it will continue to get worse,” said Governor Larry Hogan.

An analysis shows by 2040 eastbound backups in the summer could be up to 13 miles, and westbound backups up to a whopping 14-miles!

Now, Hogan has ordered an environmental study into building a third crossing over the Chesapeake Bay.

“I think it would definitely be a helpful thing for getting back and forth,” said Ali Kurnath.

Whether the third span would be built near the existing bridge, or in another part of the state is still under consideration.

The study is expected to cost about $5-million and it could take up to four years to complete.

The first span of the Bay Bridge was completed in 1952. The second was finished in 1973. Both costs millions of dollars.

Finding funding is also part of the new study, but the governor warns this won’t be a quick fix.

“It’s going to be a problem for a long time. And this is not going to magically happen overnight. But you’re never going to get it done if you don’t start,” he says.

A first step towards what could be an easier commute.

The bridge study is expected to start this fall.

A recent review found the current Bay Bridge spans will remain structurally sound through 2065.

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