Franchot Calls for Suspension of Work on Chesapeake Bay Bridge - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Franchot Calls for Suspension of Work on Chesapeake Bay Bridge

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(Photo: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot's Facebook page) (Photo: Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot's Facebook page)

STEVENSVILLE, Md.- Comptroller Peter Franchot is calling on the Maryland Department of Transportation to temporarily halt rehabilitation work on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge until officials can figure out ways to prevent major traffic backups. 

MDOT is currently working on a two-year $27 million deck rehabilitation project on the right lane of the westbound span of the bridge. The project is bringing with it major traffic headaches. Just last week, truck drivers were stopped because the lanes were too narrow for them. On Friday, there was a 14-mile backup on Route 301 in Queen Anne's County. 

On Monday, Franchot said he had enough. In a Facebook post, he wrote, "I think we've seen enough. The whole point of government is to ensure the safety, security and well-being of the people we serve. Which is precisely what is not occurring now on, near and around the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

"As we now know, the closure of the right lane of the westbound span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for deck rehabilitation has been poorly planned and executed from the start. As a result, travelers on both sides of the Bay Bridge have been subjected to severe, if not unprecedented traffic backups - as long as 14 miles eastbound, and back to the U.S. 50/301 split westbound.

"The makeshift efforts by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to alleviate these conditions haven't worked. Commuters can't get to work on time, kids are missing school and, just last Friday, transit riders bound for the Eastern Shore were literally been stranded in Annapolis."

Following up on his concerns, Franchot sent a letter to MDOT asking it to suspend the project for the fall and winter until better traffic plans are in place. 

"I believe the only option is to suspend the project for the fall and winter. During this period, I would encourage your department to regroup, assess what could have been and must be done to ensure a seamless transition into the project schedule," Franchot wrote.

WBOC reached out to MDOT but has not heard back yet. The project is set to wrap up in August 2021.  

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