Maryland Governor Announces New Bay Bridge Actions - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Governor Announces New Bay Bridge Actions

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ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday a series of actions that his administration is taking to expedite the Chesapeake Bay Bridge rehabilitation project. 

The Maryland Department of Transportation 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 headaches, including several mile-long traffic backups and delays. This even prompted Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot to weigh in on the matter - earlier this month he called for the temporary suspension of work on the bridge for the fall and winter months.

During Wednesday's meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works meeting, of which both Franchot and Hogan are members, the governor said MDOT will make every effort to expedite the project, and crews will work 24 hours a day.

"My most important responsibility is the safety of Maryland citizens. Not taking action is not an option," Hogan said. "But I am demanding that every effort must be taken to complete this project as soon as possible. And I am demanding that all the experts look at every possible solution that is feasible.

The governor also said the Maryland Transportation Authority will eliminate the toll booths and move to all-electronic tolling on the bridge as soon as possible. 

Hogan said that additionally, MDOT, the State Highway Administration and Maryland State Police will assist in improving the flow and direction of traffic. 

Hogan also said traffic engineers will work with Queen Anne's and Anne Arundel County leaders to negotiate a solution and find a balanced approach to westbound and eastbound traffic approaching the bridge.

"Anne Arundel County, which has more than 11 times the population of Queen Anne’s County, instituted contraflow, which did relieve the western side, but caused massive traffic on the shore," Hogan said. "I have directed the traffic engineers and the intergovernmental team, to negotiate between local leaders in both counties, to find a balance in order to share the pain.

Finally, Hogan said administration officials will redouble efforts to seek input from local leaders and residents.

Safety of the bridge: 

In his remarks, the governor emphasized the deteriorating condition of the right lane of the bridge, including the following: 

  • In one section of the lane, 75 percent of the area is patched and deteriorated. 

  • In most of the lane, half of the area is patched and deteriorated. 

  • Delaying this work any further would turn this redecking into a more involved project that would cost eight times more and take five years to complete.

"I will continue to push the entire state government to do everything possible to mitigate the pain, shorten the time frame, and expedite the completion of the safety repairs," Hogan said. 

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