As the summer travel season turns its focus toward the Fourth of July, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) encourages motorists to follow recommend drive times when crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to minimize delays this holiday weekend. Motorists may also find time savings by utilizing the I-95 northern route traveling the Tydings Bridge to and from the Eastern Shore.
Delays will be expected throughout the US 50 corridor, including the Bay Bridge, during the holiday weekend. Heavier eastbound traffic volumes are expected Friday, July 1, and Saturday, July 2, with heavier westbound traffic volumes expected to build Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4. For those using the Bay Bridge, motorists are reminded to stay on US 50 on both sides of the bridge to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents.
Travel off-peak when going to and from the shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this holiday include:
Thursday, June 30 – before noon and after 10 p.m.
Friday, July 1 – before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
Saturday, July 2 – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Sunday, July 3 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Monday, July 4 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Tuesday, July 5 – before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will implement two-way operations to help alleviate eastbound delays at the Bay Bridge. Two-way operations may be limited based on westbound traffic volumes, as bridge officials strive to mitigate delays on both sides of the bridge. Two-way operations are prohibited during bridge wind warnings/restrictions, fog/limited visibility, or precipitation and may be prohibited during incidents. Learn more about two-way operations here.
For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com. For real-time updates on major incidents on Maryland toll roads follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
It is important to note that the majority of crashes on the Bay Bridge are rear-end collisions. Always stay focused on the road ahead, maintain a safe following distance and follow posted speed limits. Commercial vehicles must travel across the Bay Bridge in the right lane. A vehicle breakdown can create significant backups within minutes. Make sure your vehicle is road ready before venturing out. If your vehicle begins to break down, exit the roadway. If that is not possible, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
This October, Maryland’s MOVE OVER law will expand to include all stopped vehicles that are displaying any type of caution signals or warning lights when approaching from the rear. If you have not already begun this practice, you should do so now. If you cannot MOVE OVER into an available lane that’s not immediately adjacent to the stopped vehicle, slow down. Help protect everyone roadside.
Motorists also must remember to pay attention and adhere to overhead lane signals.
RED X – the lane is closed. You MUST NOT enter or travel in any lane over which a RED X signal is shown.
YELLOW X – prepare to vacate the lane beneath the YELLOW X signal and move to a lane with a
DOWNWARD GREEN ARROW.
DOWNWARD GREEN ARROW – you can drive in the lane beneath the GREEN ARROW signal.
As a reminder, Maryland is an all-electronic tolling state. Tolls are collected through E-ZPass, Pay-By-Plate and Video Tolling. E-ZPass is the most cost-effective way to travel toll roads in Maryland, saving drivers up to 77% versus the higher rates and avoids the additional paperwork that comes with Video Tolls. With Pay-By-Plate, tolls are automatically billed to the driver’s registered credit card as they use Maryland toll facilities, with no need for a transponder or pre-paid toll deposit. Pay-By-Plate rates are the same as former cash rates.
Motorists who travel Maryland toll roads without E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate – Video Tolling customers – have an opportunity to save 15% (maximum of $5 per transaction) by paying their Video Tolls before the notice is mailed. Learn more and enroll in E-ZPass or sign up for Pay-By-Plate today at https://www.driveezmd.com/acct-types/.
To ensure the lowest toll rate for your E-ZPass account, customers are reminded to:
keep vehicle and billing information up to date (e.g., check for expired credit cards, etc.);
maintain a positive balance;
properly mount your E-ZPass transponder prior to traveling a toll facility; and
verify you’re traveling frequently enough for your discount plan.
DriveEzMD Customer Service Centers will be closed Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4. Visit DriveEzMD.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 for 24/7 account maintenance or to make payments.
The MDTA Police remind drivers that it is NEVER permissible to drive impaired by alcohol or drugs – whether they are illegal, prescription or over-the-counter medications. Impaired driving endangers your life and the lives of others. Law enforcement officers will remain vigilant and target dangerous drivers, seat belt violations and criminal activity throughout the holiday travel period. To report aggressive or dangerous driving on Maryland toll roads, call MDTA Police Dispatch at 410-537-7911.
Travelers also are reminded to pay attention to surroundings and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. If you see something, say something. And, if there is an emergency, call MDTA Police Dispatch or dial 911.
The MDTA thanks motorists for their continued commitment to safe driving practices.