ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Transportation Authority announced Tuesday that it is moving forward with a plan to shorten the duration of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge rehabilitation project.
These actions are in an effort to mitigate the traffic impact on commuters, visitors, and local residents.
This comes in response to Gov. Larry Hogan’s directive earlier this month to expedite the project.
“In one section of the lane, 75 percent of the area is deteriorated, and for nearly all of that lane, half is deteriorating,” Gov. Hogan had said during a press conference at the beginning of October. “The conditioning is worsening every day.”
The MDTA is currently in the process of replacing the bridge deck surface in the right lane of the westbound span. This work includes making deck repairs, sealing the bridge deck, and replacing the existing lane-use signals and steel rail posts.
Drivers said that traffic has been a nightmare.
“It takes me two hours to get home,” Alex Bailey said. “I work in D.C. It’s just not worth it.”
“On the worst days, you can sit in this for an hour and a half,” Patricia Youle said.
Going forward, extra crews will work around the clock. The work will be done on both day and night shifts, seven days a week, using multiple crews. Crews will also work through Thanksgiving week, according to the plan.
The MDTA is also developing a construction timeline to implement all-electronic tolling.
The MDTA is working with the MDOT State Highway Administration and the Maryland State Police to improve the flow and direction of local traffic.
There will also be a balanced approach to westbound and eastbound traffic. The MDTA is working with elected officials to negotiate a solution and find a balanced approach to westbound and eastbound traffic approaching the bridge.
In addition to meetings with local officials, MDTA officials said there will be redoubled efforts to engage local residents and listen to their comments and concerns.