News Release, Maryland Department of Transportation

As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the nearly two million motorists anticipated to travelMDTAroadways this holiday to plan ahead, travel off-peak and put safety first. This total represents a 1.0% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.

MDTAofficials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 24, and Monday, May 27:

  • Bay Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 340,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 550,000.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) – more than 590,000.
  • Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) – more than 215,000.
  • Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) – more than 190,000.

An additional 190,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined.All totals represent traffic in both directions.

TheMDTAoffers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:

  • Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel theBay Bridgethis weekend include:
  • Thursday/Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Sunday/Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Motorists traveling to and from the Eastern Shore should remain on US 50 to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents.
  • Avoid the Flock!
  • For real-time updates onmajor incidentsfollow us on Twitter attwitter.com/TheMDTA.Findus on Facebook atfacebook.com/TheMDTA.To sign up foremail/text alertsor view real-time traffic camera images onMDTAroadways, visitmdta.maryland.gov.
  • Call1-877-BAYSPAN(229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions or visitbaybridge.comto view traffic cameras.
  • Get there faster with E-ZPass! E-ZPass transponders areFREEand no $1.50 monthly fee. Visitezpassmd.comto enroll online and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
  • Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.
  • Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore during your holiday travels. Visitmdta.maryland.govfor toll rates.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is theMDTA’s priority. TheMDTAPolice will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will step up seatbelt enforcement during the Click It or Ticket Campaign through June 2. AdditionalMDTAPolice patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. TheMDTAPolice and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles during the holiday weekend. In addition, theMDTAwill lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 24, to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 28.

Construction Reminders:

  • I-895 Bridge Projectcurrently features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 in the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel southbound bore. The northbound bore is closed until mid-June.Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.
  • I-895Patapsco River Flatsbridge deck and superstructure replacement continues. Current traffic pattern features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 on I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge near Baltimore/Washington Parkway.Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.

For your SAFETY and the SAFETY of other motorists and emergency personnel:

  • Devote your full attention to driving – it isillegalto text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
  • Buckle Up! Every Trip. Every Seat. Every Time.
  • State law requires vehicles tomove overwhen approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you are unable to move over,slow down.
  • Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
  • Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.
  • Do not tailgate– keep a safe following distance.
  • Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.” If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside andcall #77for assistance.
  • When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
    • The location of the emergency;
    • A call-back telephone number; and
    • Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.

TheE-ZPassMaryland Customer Service Centers will be closed on Monday, May 27. Visitezpassmd.comor use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...