ANNAPOLIS (WJZ) — Construction on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge starts Sunday night for the Bay Bridge toll booth removal project.

Crews are working to remove three toll booths as they make the switch to cashless tolling.

“Anytime there’s construction it’s a mess.” said Lanae McIlree from Kent Island.

The frustration with drivers continues as construction piles up.

“I had a couple trips this year where it was 14 miles and it took me two and a half hours to get home.” said Shawn Miller, Kent Island resident.

The traffic is from the state’s two year, multi-million dollar reconstruction project, that’s expected to wrap up in 2021.

But, there’s a plan to help ease some of that traffic. MDTA kicked off their switch to cashless tolling, making it easier for drivers to keep it moving.

“It’s good for the environment it’s good for the time you need to spend in your vehicle and you get a reduction in the rate you have to pay.” said Jim Ports, executive director of MDTA.

Lanes 3, 4 and 5 will shut down permanently, and drivers are going to see some of the existing toll booths demolished in order to make room for wider lanes at the Bay Bridge.

“When you have to wait for people to pay cash for those lines, and then you have to wait for all those people to funnel to those two lanes you don’t need those many lanes so it’s not going to work well.” Miller said.

The new plan will make it so drivers won’t have to stop to pay tolls and be billed electronically.

And with only five months to go until summer, some drivers said they hope it works.

“My hope is that it will improve the situation.” McIlree said.

Again, people can expect to see construction starting Sunday night. Officials said they expect construction to wrap up by the end of June.

Kelsey Kushner

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