STEVENSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Beachgoers returning home to Baltimore after a Labor Day weekend getaway to the Eastern Shore likely sat in some traffic as they tried to get back to the city.
Thanks to lower gas prices and nice weather, officials said there were a lot more drivers on the road.
The Maryland Transportation Authority reported delays of 10 miles on westbound U.S. Route 50 beginning at the Bay Bridge and extending to Wye Mills Monday afternoon. By Monday night, westbound delays were still reported past Grasonville.
Even at 11 p.m., MDTA reported backups as much as 3.5 miles from the bridge.
“It’s been pretty bad,” Maria Harrigan said. “We were on the bridge for over an hour.”
Westbound US 50 delays 10mi prior to the Bay Bridge. Stay on US 50 to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents. Recommended WB cross time is after 11P. 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) #mdtraffic #MDShorebound pic.twitter.com/WGE4Hb57EK
— MDTA (@TheMDTA) September 7, 2020
AAA Mid-Atlantic said the coronavirus pandemic and warm weather likely led travelers to hit the roads for a weekend away.
“We are expecting many people to be driving getting that last trip in for the summer, and for many the first trip of the summer since some of the restrictions are gradually easing up a bit,” spokesperson Ragina Ali said.
Gas prices in Maryland are sitting at around $2.27 per gallon, down 16 cents from last year, AAA said.
Drivers took advantage of those low prices.
“I’m filling up now before I leave the state of Maryland,” Joe Brett told WJZ as he topped off his tank in Annapolis.
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More vehicles means more police patrols as well. Maryland State Police spokesperson Ron Snyder said troopers were keeping an eye out for impaired drivers.
Extra troopers were on the roads this weekend as well, he added.
“We’re asking people to be responsible,” Snyder said. “If you’re going to drink, don’t drive.”
The Queen Anne’s County Department of Emergency Services reported a crash on westbound Route 50 at Shopping Center Road near Chester. The crash has since been cleared.
A previous serious crash on Route 50 at Old Skipton Road in Talbot County has also been cleared up, the county’s emergency services department wrote on Facebook.
Officials recommend those heading west across the bridge wait until after 11 p.m. if possible to avoid traffic.
Drivers hoping to take Interstate 95 to avoid the delays found other issues; officials reported a two-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 95 prior to Bainbridge Road in Cecil County that led to backups.