Eastern Shore Lawmakers React to Bay Bridge Study - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Eastern Shore Lawmakers React to Bay Bridge Study

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The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Photo:Chopper 16) The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (Photo:Chopper 16)

KENT ISLAND, Md.-  Even on a Wednesday, there was somewhat heavy traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  The hope is that the infamous traffic jams won't last much farther into the future.  Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has signed an executive order, pledging $5 million toward a four year, tier one environmental study into the possibility of a third bridge.  It's something eastern shore lawmakers like Senator Addie Eckardt (R) of Dorchester County and Delegate Johnny Mautz (R) of Talbot County have been asking for.

"Remember, it takes a long time to get a bridge.  You have a lot of moving pieces, and if you have a strong foundation, I think at any point in time, you are ready to jump in and continue the process," said Senator Eckardt.

"To me it's a very good investment for our future.  It's inevitable.  At some point we're going to have to bite this off, and the sooner we do it, the better we're gonna be in the future when we have to do it.  The decision is going to be made for us at some point in the future eventually," said Delegate Mautz.

The study is not just going to look at how the bridge will be built and how much it will cost, it will also look at where it will be built.  Just because it's a third span doesn't mean it will go next to the other two.

The Taylor's Island Family Campsite in Dorchester County is probably the most populated spot on the island.  The sparsely populated island is one of the closest points to the western shore, and in the past has been considered as a possible third span location.  But locals aren't liking the prospect.

"Economically, for the area it would be great.  For Dorchester County, the economic value of it would be very good.  But for the people of Taylor's Island and probably for the surrounding area, it would be a new way of life for them, and I'm not sure they would like that way of life," said Bruce Coulson, owner of the campsite.

"I built a house next door and I can watch the cruise ships go down, I can watch the fishermen and the birds.  I'd rather watch that than a bridge with traffic on it," said Anna Grossnickle.

The proposed locations will be included in the study released in four years.

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