Many Marylanders and visitors to our state will cross the Bay Bridge over the long Fourth of July weekend, and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is urging everyone to make safety the most important part of their travel plan.
Travelers cross the bridge’s 4.3-mile dual spans on holiday weekends and throughout the summer on their way to and from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This year, as more people hit the road during the state’s COVID-19 recovery, the MDTA is urging travelers to plan ahead, travel off-peak and slow down – and also be mindful to limit contact whenever possible and follow all COVID-19 precautions.
While Maryland continues its recovery from COVID-19, Governor Larry Hogan has reminded us that we must be vigilant and careful to protect ourselves and those we love. Please avoid large gatherings, remember to wear a mask or face covering in public, and maintain social distancing standards recommended by the Maryland Department of Health and others.
The MDTA also has some updates and tips that will help make your journey to and from the shore “EZ” and safe, including toll collection that’s not only cashless, but contact-free.
Save your cash for the boardwalk! With full-time all-electronic (cashless) tolling live at the Bay Bridge, there’s no stopping and no contact at toll booths. Tolls are collected via gantry on the Kent Island side. Eastbound motorists on US 50 should prepare to merge at Oceanic Drive (Exit 32) prior to the bridge. Three lanes merge to two, with the left lane opening to traffic when two-way (contraflow) operations are in effect on westbound bridge.
Be sure to mount your E-ZPASS transponder to avoid receiving a Notice of Toll Due in the mail. Bay Bridge passenger-vehicle drivers without E-ZPass will be mailed a notice for the temporary video toll rate of $4 (standard video toll is $6). Sign up for an E-ZPass at ezpassmd.com. You can also get an E-ZPass “On-the-Go” transponder at participating Giant Food and Weis Markets. To find one near you, go to ezpassmd.com/en/onthego/locations.shtml.
Travel off-peak. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:
- Friday, July 3 – before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
- Saturday, July 4 – before 6 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
- Sunday, July 5 – before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Monday, July 6 – before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Take your time and prepare for some delays. Although the toll plaza has been removed, there are not enough bridge lanes for the summertime volumes. Delays are to be expected at the Bay Bridge and along the US 50 corridor during peak times. Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will implement two-way operations to help alleviate eastbound delays at the Bay Bridge.
Put safety FIRST in your travel plans. Please follow these tips to keep yourself, your family and others safe:
- When on the Bay Bridge, you MUST adhere to overhead lane signals.
- Stay on US 50 on BOTH sides of the bridge to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents.
- Make sure your vehicle is road ready. If your vehicle breaks down, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
- Secure your load in vehicles and trailers before traveling.
- Arrive Alive. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target dangerous drivers, seatbelt violations and criminal activity.
- And remember those COVID-19 precautions. If out and about, keep social distance, wear a face covering and avoid large gatherings.
Enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July. For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com to view live traffic cameras. For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.