Gov. Larry Hogan announced a $28 million study Friday morning that he called a “critical next step” toward building an additional span to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The bridge was built in 1952 with an intended life span of 50 years, Hogan said, and it’s now plagued with frequent traffic jams, especially on summer weekends.
“Next month marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which led to a new era of commerce and tourism for our beautiful Eastern Shore. And the bridge now carries more than 27 million vehicles a year,” Hogan said. “Traffic continues to pile up and much-needed modernization has been delayed for decades.”
In April, federal regulators signed off on an initial environmental study for identifying the corridor for a new bridge crossing. That study took more than four years to complete, and it identified a 2-mile wide corridor surrounding U.S. 50/301 between Annapolis and Stevensville as the best location for a new span.
Hogan made the announcement in Queen Anne’s County with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background.
“We are immediately launching a critical $28 million tier-2 bay crossing study which will not only study the new crossing, but also look at solutions for the entire 22-mile corridor,” Hogan said.
The Queen Anne’s Conservation Association filed a lawsuit Friday against the Maryland Transportation Authority, claiming the agency has not been open about possible alternatives to a new span across the Chesapeake Bay. The group is concerned about the cost and potential environmental damage caused by construction and says the agency failed to respond to a public records request.