High Winds Likely to Impact Chesapeake Bay Bridge - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

High Winds Likely to Impact Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Posted: Mar 02, 2018 8:29 AM Updated:

UNDATED- The Maryland Transportation Authority is reminding motorists to be prepared for wind warnings, restrictions and the potential for temporary traffic holds at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and other MDTA bridges into Sunday, March 4

Any decision to hold traffic at a toll facility would be based upon current weather at a given facility, according to the MDTA, which said it will make every effort to keep all of its facilities open as long as conditions are deemed safe to do so. 

High winds will likely prevent two-way operations (when one lane of eastbound traffic travels on the westbound span) at the Bay Bridge during Friday afternoon's rush-hour period.  Drivers may experience eastbound delays. The MDTA said it will continue to monitor weather conditions and will implement two-way operations, if possible. 

On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below:

•  Wind Warnings (sustained wind speeds of 30-39 mph for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 30 mph over a period of 15 minutes) operators of house trailers, box trailers, motorcycles, vehicles with roof-mount racks containing cargo or any other vehicle that may be subject to high winds are advised to use caution while traveling across the bridge.

•  Limited Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds of 40-49 mph for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 40 mph over a period of 15 minutes) house trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge. Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.

•  Full Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds exceeding 50 mph for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 50 mph over a period of 15 minutes) only automobiles, pickup trucks, flatbed trailers, commercial buses and heavy-laden tractor/trailers are permitted to cross the bridge. Tractor-box trailer combinations will not be permitted to cross any bridge if the gross weight is less than 64,000 pounds.

•  Traffic Holds/Bridge Closure (sustained wind speeds exceeding 55 mph for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 55 mph over a period of 15 minutes) In the event of a sudden increase of sustained wind speeds or wind gusts that could jeopardize life or property, the MDTA may elect to discontinue the movement of all traffic across the bridge.

The MDTA said it cannot predict what phase of the wind policy a bridge will be in at a particular time of the day. Determinations are not made by forecasts, but rather by real-time weather conditions at a given toll facility.

Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 conditions at the Bay Bridge.

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