He has choreographed the steps — now mimicked by some of the other 32 collectors — for making change quickly, prearranging small stacks of bills in the nanoseconds between customers.

"It doesn't take that long to develop a system. It's mostly common sense," he said. "Then you get into a rhythm."

Only a few things can make him miss a beat: a motorist who forgets to turn off the wipers before pulling alongside his open window, a smart-aleck kid who pays the $4 toll in dimes.

"You have to count it all," he said. "Meanwhile, everyone is waiting."

If one thing gives him nightmares, it's the white-knuckled walk every day from the administration building to his tiny rectangular booth with panoramic views of oncoming traffic.

His money drawer has a shield, but: "If I drop it, there's going to be money everywhere — and how am I going to get that back?"

Kullman shouldn't sweat it. In a recent monthly audit of the hundreds of thousands of dollars he handled, the Anne Arundel County resident was short 14 cents.

"I can live with that," he said.

State officials continue to urge vacationers to travel in off-peak hours: on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday, before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.; on Saturday, before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

For returning traffic, the MdTA cautioned that new lane markings and rumble strips have been installed on the westbound span. Drivers in those left and center lanes are prohibited from making lane changes.

Memorial Day weekend will signal the last holiday before tolls on bridges and tunnels go up on July 1. The Fort McHenry, Harbor Tunnel and Key Bridge tolls will increase $1 to $4 for two-axle vehicles; I-95 and U.S. 40's Thomas Hatem Bridge will rise $2 to $8; and the Nice Memorial Bridge and the Bay Bridge will jump $2 to $6.

"I've thought about that," said Kullman with a grin. "It's no big deal. I already have a new system."


Traffic 411

The state has several platforms to dispense traffic information:

•For Bay Bridge conditions, 877-229-7726, or baybridge.com for cameras

•For statewide conditions: call 511 or go to MD511.org

•To see traffic cameras statewide: chart.state.md.us

•On Twitter: @TheMDTA and @MDSHA.

•On Facebook: TheMDTA and MarylandStateHighwayAdministration

•For toll rates: mdta.maryland.gov