Maryland transportation officials have narrowed down their options for a new crossing over the Chesapeake Bay to three plans they say will provide the most traffic relief, all which could be located at or near the original Bay Bridge.
A new report, part of a multi-million dollar study commissioned by the Maryland Transportation Authority, found that adding a third span to the extant Chesapeake Bay Bridge between Crofton in Anne Arundel County and Queenstown in Queen Anne’s County would likely provide the most traffic relief while limiting environmental damage.
Building that third span is one of three options still under consideration. Eleven sites out of a total of 14 have been rejected, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, with all three remaining options connecting with Anne Arundel County to relieve current bridge traffic.
A proposal for a third span adjacent to the Bay Bridge is said to be the leading contender at the moment, with the other two plans touching down on the east in either Queen Anne’s or Talbot counties within a few miles of the original bridge.
The MDTA has been studying the matter since 2016, and is set to officially release the state’s preferred option this fall, when the public will have a chance to give input.
Some Anne Arundel County officials have expressed concerns that a new bridge or span could overwhelm U.S. Route 50 and surrounding local roads with excessive bridge overflow traffic.
County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) said that “any of the three options will be severely disruptive to existing communities and sensitive environmental areas, and could destroy parks along the Chesapeake Bay at a time when we are trying to expand public water access.”
The new report stated any of the projects would cost “billions of dollars” but did not provide an exact cost estimate, or say where the money would come from.
Information on the project is on baycrossing.com.
As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Nick Iannelli. Click here for the WTOP News website.