Bay Bridge Fixed!

September 8, 2008

MTA be praised, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is open for business again! The repairs were completed more than a week ahead of schedule this morning, and the bridge’s full span is expected to be clear of orange cones and yellow vests by rush hour tonight.

There will be a few lane closures between 10p.m. and 5a.m. until Thursday night, but Maryland Transit Authority spokesperson Kelly Melhem said there should be no major lane closures in the foreseeable future. Melhem also said that any future repairs to the bridge’s barrier walls would occur at night.

Sounds like a celebration is in order–maybe dinner across the bridge? As always, check out What’s Up? for news, events and dining in Annapolis and the Eastern Shore.

An end to bridge headaches near?

September 8, 2008

Though multiple weather-related warnings and closures this weekend probably slowed some repair progress, it appears that the Maryland Transportation Authority has made great strides on bridge repairs, and that disruptions could be over more quickly than expected.

More good news comes in this morning’s update from the MTA:

Repairs to the parapet on the left side of the eastbound span are complete, and the left lane was reopened to traffic late Sunday night. Contractors, material fabricators and MDTA crews worked around-the-clock to accelerate the repair schedule.

The right eastbound lane will close briefly today from approximately 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for visual inspection. Full eastbound span closures will be in effect Monday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning for crews to complete routine maintenance and permanent repairs inspections. Two-way traffic will operate on the westbound span.

The Maryland Transportation Authority thanks you for your patience.

As disruptions to traffic conclude, treat yourself to an event or experience on the opposite shore! For the latest information, news, and inside tips on everything Annapolis and Eastern Shore, check out What’s Up? Magazines online!

Left Eastbound lane repairs begin

September 3, 2008

The latest from the Maryland Transportation Authority:

“Testing of the parapet on the left side of the eastbound span is complete, and data collected indicates some corrosion of reinforcing steel bolts encased in the concrete barrier.

The left lane was closed this morning as crews began round-the-clock work to strengthen the left parapet at both ends of the bridge. The repairs underway are similar to those already made on the right parapet.

During the 24/7 LEFT lane closure on the eastbound span, two-way traffic is expected to operate on the westbound span during the following times to provide two lanes for eastbound travelers:

• Monday through Wednesday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

• Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• As needed, Monday through Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., to accommodate

full eastbound span closures.

Commuters will still have three westbound lanes available during the morning rush, as will travelers returning from the Eastern Shore on the weekend.

Travelers heading to Ocean City from the Baltimore area are advised to take northbound I-95 to southbound Route 1 in Delaware (exit 4). Motorists may continue to Route 528 to Coastal Highway, or take DE 1 to US 113, to either MD 90 or US 50 into Ocean City. For a complete list of suggested alternate routes, visit baybridge.com.

The Authority reminds motorists to travel the eastbound span at the posted speed of 40 mph and to stay on US 50 and avoid local roads to access the bridge.

In addition, trucks wider than 12 feet are prohibited from traveling the bridge in the eastbound direction during repairs and must use alternate routes. The restriction includes trucks that have been issued blanket permits.”

Check back frequently for more updates! For the latest information, news, and inside tips on everything Annapolis and Eastern Shore, check out What’s Up? Magazines online!

Left lane to reopen for rush hour

September 2, 2008

The Eastbound span’s left lane will be reopened for evening rush hour this evening. Bridge work, including inspections and testing will continue overnight.

From the Maryland Transportation Authority:

“Motorists can expect a full closure of the eastbound span tonight after traffic volumes decrease — most likely after 9 or 10 p.m. – as inspections and testing of the span’s left parapet continue. Two-way traffic will operate on the westbound span during the closure.

Commuters will still have three westbound lanes available during the morning rush.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit baybridge.com for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.”

As of 3 p.m. today, there was a slight backup right at the toll plaza, but traffic was moving steadily.

Check back frequently for updates! For the latest information, news, and inside tips on everything Annapolis and Eastern Shore, check out What’s Up? Magazines online!

Bay Bridge Informational Hearing Set

September 2, 2008

On Wednesday, September 3, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) will hold a public meeting in the Kent Island High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Concerns about the closure of the Bay Bridge’s eastbound span’s right lane will be addressed.

From a Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce press release:

“Commuters traveling home to the Eastern Shore during rush hour have been met with traffic back-ups as long as five miles since the closure began earlier this week…County emergency services personnel have been working with the MdTA and other state agencies to address concerns regarding transport of emergency vehicles across the Bay Bridge during the lane closure. Officials from the MdTA and the county Department of Emergency Services will be at the meeting to address concerns.”

Long traffic lines are making it extremely difficult to cross the bridge for commutes, beach weekends, or just to shop or attend an event.

Stuck on one side of the bridge? Sign up for What’s Up?’s weekly e-newsletter, which contains inside tips on the best events happening on both sides of the bridge. Check out the What’s Up? Magazines website for events, articles, and dining information.

County will enforce “local traffic” restrictions

August 29, 2008

From the office of County Executive John Leopold:


Annapolis, Maryland (August 29, 2008) – Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold and County Council Chairman Cathleen M. Vitale announced today that police will strictly enforce local restrictions on East College Parkway and Skidmore Drive through the holiday weekend.

A lighted sign is located on College Parkway near Green Holly Drive to warn motorists of the local restrictions beyond Cape St. Claire Road.
The goal is to make sure residents can get to and from their homes and local businesses in the Cape St. Claire area undeterred by cross-through traffic trying to bypass Route 50 eastbound.

“When backups occur we will have enhanced enforcement by the Police Department,” County Executive Leopold said. “East College Parkway and Skidmore Drive are for residents and local businesses only. Backups are frustrating for everyone, but we want to make sure residents can safely return home.”

Permanent signs are posted on Route 50 eastbound as well as the access roads.

“Safety is the primary concern, and we have had some near accidents because of the unauthorized use of the access roads in the past,”

Chairman Vitale said. “We were successful in having the roads designated for local access only, and at times like these we need to strictly enforce these restrictions.”

More: Don’t want to brave bridge traffic this weekend? Check out our website for thousands of things to do right where you live in Annapolis or on the Eastern Shore.

Send us your thoughts!

August 28, 2008

Were you caught in the Bay Bridge backup last night or today? Be sure to sound off in the comments section below and let us know about your frustrations, and any solutions you think could alleviate the traffic stress.

How safe is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge?

August 28, 2008

The Baltimore Sun wrote today that Maryland Senator E.J. Pipkin is raising questions about the safety of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, noting that the barrier corrosion repairs that will be snarling traffic for the next ten weeks might not have happened without discoveries made after the August 10 tractor-trailer crash:

” Pipkin said the decision to close the bridge during the Labor Day holiday weekend ‘conveys a sense of doubt about the current status of the bridge’s safety. One is forced to ask: What else is there about the bridge’s stability that has not been discovered? What else do we not know?’ he said.”

Readers, what do you think? How do you feel about the safety of the bridge, and how situation is being handled?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.