Eastern shore lawmakers discuss third bay bridge proposal
ANNAPOLIS, Md.- It’s not a secret, the traffic on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a problem. Most of us have been there, especially during the summer months. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the bay bridge stuck for hours.
“If you’ve ever tried to go home on a Friday night from Anne Arundel County from this side of the bridge it can sometimes be 2 1/2 hours,”said Delegate Steven Arentz (R-District 36)
To fix the issue legislators have been seriously considering adding another bridge. Right now there are 14 different possible options for where it would go such as Dorchester, Somerset or Talbot. The problem though is that regardless of where it ends up, the cost will be almost as massive as the bridge itself.
“The cost is just astronomical. To add one lane to one of the existing bridges it’s upwards of $900 million based on numbers we got two years ago,” said Delegate Carl Anderton (R-District 38B).
And it wouldn’t just be the cost of the bridge that legislators have to consider.
“Even if we were to put that bridge between where the two bridges are now you still have to widen 50 from Queen Anne’s County all the way to the shore. Plus you’d have to do something on the Anne Arundel side to handle traffic coming in,” said Arentz.
Despite the projected costs, it seems everyone agrees another bridge would help. The question is now can everyone come together to make a decision this year. Or will the idea for another bridge get tabled again.
“Everything is predecisional there’s a lot of different options on the table of a lot of research and studies are being done now this is early in the process,” said Senator Mary Beth Carozza (R-District 38).
And although the concept of creating a third bay bridge is still in its early stages, lawmakers say they’re still going into this idea with an open mind in order to create a better way of living for each and every Marylander.
Now the Maryland Department of Transportation says they’ll be spending the next couple of months holding public meetings across the state to continue to get input from communities about the proposed bridge locations.
They add that they’ll break the proposal down to residents, and explain why and how these bridge locations were chosen. These meetings are expected to begin sometime in the spring.