Motorists using the Bay Bridge this holiday season will experience the latest phase of an innovative project designed to improve safety and accelerate the process of opening and closing lanes on the bridge.

Starting December 20, drivers on westbound US 50/301 approaching the Bay Bridge from the Eastern Shore will be among the first to witness use of the new gates as part of the Automated Lane Closure System (ALCS) that will replace the existing, time consuming use of barrels to close off lanes.

ALCS uses horizontal swing gates, illuminated pavement markers, full-color dynamic message signs and overhead lane-use control signals to alert and guide motorists when lanes are opening and closing to accommodate two-way traffic operations on the westbound span.

The new gates and the entire ALCS helps protect Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) employees by replacing a manual process with automation and improves drivers’ safety by giving them more time to move into the correct lanes allowing for safer lane changes and helping prevent secondary crashes during incidents.

The ALCS also enhances incident response, enabling crews to switch between lane closure scenarios more rapidly during incidents.

MDTA began to implement the system in November, when new overhead lane-use control signals and full-color dynamic message signs – a first in Maryland – became available on the Eastern Shore. Starting 1.5 miles before the westbound span, these devices give drivers more notice than ever before of bridge lane closures ahead.

Westbound view from the Eastern Shore of overhead lane-use control signals and full-color message signs.

This month, additional portions of the system are being rolled out on the Eastern Shore side of the bridge. To help drivers get used to this new system, the horizontal swing gates and illuminated pavement markers are being phased in.

In addition, during this transition period barrels still will be used – along with the new gates (see images below). Throughout the course of winter 2022/2023, the MDTA will complete phasing the system to include the Western Shore. For more information, visit mdta.maryland.gov/Capital_Projects/BayBridgeALCS.

Westbound view from the Eastern Shore of horizontal swing gates used together with barrels during transition.

The MDTA reminds motorists that all-electronic tolling is statewide with E-ZPass, Pay-By-Plate or Video Tolling as payment methods. At the westbound view from the Eastern Shore of horizontal swing gates used together with barrels during the transition. 

Bay Bridge, tolls are collected via overhead electronic toll gantry located on the Eastern Shore. Always properly mount your E-ZPass transponder and keep your account up to date to receive the lowest toll rate.

Learn more, enroll in E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate, and pay Video Tolls at DriveEzMD.com.


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