QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Traffic frustrations continue on the Bay Bridge as work moves forward on a major restoration project, leading Queen Anne’s County’s commissioners to call on the Maryland Transportation Authority to stop using a two-way traffic pattern on the bridge to alleviate congestion.
Lane closures from the $27 million project that began late last month have been causing major backups, frustrating area residents and causing area students to be late for class, the commissioners said.
Now, they want the state to change the two-way traffic flow and find another solution to reduce traffic headaches.
To complete the repairs, a contraflow two-way traffic pattern is in effect on the bridge’s westbound span. It’s that contraflow pattern that’s causing the issue, commissioner James Moran said.
“When contraflow is enacted, Queen Anne’s County, specifically Kent Island, comes to an entire halt,” he said.
MDTA has also implemented cashless tolling from noon to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays during construction to keep traffic moving.
Even with these plans, area drivers agree the delays are making it hard to get around.
“Coming home from church the other day a 10 minute ride was 45, it’s, it’s really a mess.”
Last week, the commissioners wrote a letter to transportation secretary Peter Rahn asking for the agency to stop using the two-way traffic pattern.
Moran said that patten has been hampering emergency services and holding up school buses.
“They stop our buses from moving, they stop parents from getting their kids,” he said. “It’s a total nightmare.”
The commissioners also expressed concerns about tractor-trailers being rerouted onto side roads due to congestion.
In response, Rahn said in part, “The MDTA has engaged with county officials and will continue to do so throughout the entire duration of the deck rehabilitation project.”
Moran said he’d like to sit down with the agency and officials in Anne Arundel County and find a way to ease some of the congestion.
Work is expected to wrap up in August 2021.