Governor Larry Hogan today announced that all lanes at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will be open this summer as deck work on the westbound right lane is completed a year ahead of schedule and all-electronic tolling goes live. The governor was joined by Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Executive Director James F. Ports, Jr. and MDTA construction inspectors and work crews in removing Toll Booth 4 to mark the first milestone in replacing existing toll systems.
“I am pleased to announce that this project will be completed a full year ahead of schedule, and that all lanes on the Bay Bridge will be open by summer of 2020,” said Governor Hogan. “Our entire team has spent the past few months working around the clock to make today’s announcement possible. I want to thank all of the men and women who are designing and constructing these important projects, as well as everyone who operates, maintains, and protects the bridge and its travelers each and every day.”
At the October 16, 2019 Board of Public Works meeting, Governor Hogan directed the MDTA to expedite the schedule for the Bay Bridge Work deck rehabilitation project and to implement all-electronic tolling at the Bay Bridge as soon as possible. The MDTA developed an aggressive plan to complete the westbound right lane work and bring AET to Bay Bridge travelers by summer 2020.
“Following the Governor’s direction, we’ve been working closely with the contractor to further minimize impacts to the public while continuing to expedite work,” said MDTA Executive Director Ports. “With warmer temperatures forecasted the week of February 2, the first rapid-set concrete pours will be able to take place during planned overnight closures between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. and not impact daytime traffic.”
The deck rehabilitation project began in September 2019, after over a decade of deferred maintenance resulted in severe deterioration of the westbound right lane surface, posing a number of safety risks to motorists.
“I want to thank Governor Hogan for listening to the concerns of our communities and taking action to expedite the Bay Bridge project with thoughtful and meaningful solutions,” said Sen. Steve Hershey. “Once he got involved and directed crews to work around the clock, we saw an immediate improvement in the situation. We look forward to working with MDTA to make sure the work gets completed by summer with minimal impacts on local residents and commuters.”
As a result of the expedited schedule, all milling work is complete and 54% of the latex modified concrete is placed. Upcoming work on the westbound span includes finishing the latex modified concrete in the right lane, replacing joints, repairing deck punctures, replacing steel rail posts, taking down jersey barriers, and re-striping lanes. Motorists also will see work underway on the all-electronic tolling project including utility relocation, roadway reconstruction, and installation of the new eastbound tolling gantry between the bridge and MD 8.
With all-electronic tolling, cash is not accepted as payment. Drivers do not have to stop to pay tolls, as overhead gantries collect tolls electronically by E-ZPass or video tolling. The benefits of all-electronic tolling include less idling time for better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, decreased congestion, increased driver safety, and a safer work environment for employees.
Governor Hogan has worked to provide $344 million in toll relief for Marylanders, cutting tolls at every single toll facility in the state for the first time in 50 years and eliminating the $1.50 E-ZPass monthly account fee in 2015, making E-ZPass transponders free in 2018, and announcing yet another round of toll reduction in July 2019, resulting in a total of up to $344 million in savings. Motorists can visit ezpassmd.com to sign up or learn more.