Motorists should prepare for experiencing major delays on the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial / Bay Bridge (US 50/301) beginning Tuesday, September 24, when two-way operations on the westbound span cease in preparation for the Maryland Transportation Authority’s (MDTA) $27-million deck rehabilitation project. MDTA had initially announced the two-year Bay Bridge project would begin early in September, but the Hogan Administration was able to work with the contractor to maintain three lanes westbound for commuters and beachgoers through the last weekend of September. This will help accommodate travelers attending events through the end of the month, including this weekend’s Sunfest celebration in Ocean City.
During overnight closures of the westbound span, crews will restripe the three lanes allowing jersey barriers to be installed next to the right lane, creating a safe work zone for crews. Starting September 24, two-way operations will be suspended due to the narrower lane configuration. The worst of the westbound delays aren’t expected to occur until the full closure of the right lane begins on September 30. The full right-lane closure continues through April 2020, except during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Commuters adjusting their schedules to avoid delays due to the westbound re-decking project should be aware that the entire westbound span will be shut down every night. The westbound span will close at 9 p.m. and reopen at 5 a.m. During the closure, two-way traffic will operate on the eastbound span limiting eastbound and westbound travel to one lane in each direction.
The right lane closure may also be needed in May 2020, depending on work progress. Even though traffic volumes are lowest at the bridge during these months, motorists should expect major delays, even during normal conditions and especially during holidays, traffic incidents and inclement weather. Similar closures will occur in fall 2020 and spring 2021, with an estimated project completion in August 2021.
The westbound right lane will be fully reopened for the summer travel season from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day 2020, although temporary lane closures may occur during off-peak hours.
Funded by toll proceeds, the project will not only replace the bridge deck surface of the westbound right lane, but also make deck repairs, seal the bridge deck and replace existing lane-use signal gantries and steel rail posts. The work is being performed by Wagman Heavy Civil Inc.
For Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. To sign up for email/text alerts or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. For updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA.