Mikulski backs federal review of Bay Bridge safety

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski used a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday to join in calling for a federal review of safety procedures on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The Maryland Democrat said she was prompted to request a National Transportation Safety Board investigation after an accident Friday that caused a vehicle and its driver to plunge into the water. The 900,000-member AAA Mid-Atlantic called for a similar review on Monday.

"As of today, I’m very strongly recommending a review, for the a National Transportation Safety Board to look at it," Mikulski said. "Are the barriers high enough? Should we be using two-way traffic…very important questions."

The accident last week took place when a tractor-trailer struck a car, sending it over the bridge barrier. The woman driving the car suffered minor injuries and was able to free herself and swim to safety.

An NTSB spokesman said earlier this week that the agency is reviewing requests for an investigation.

Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was on the floor to discuss the $54 billion transportation and housing spending bill headed toward a vote this week. The Senate approved an amendment to the bill Wednesday that would prioritize certain bridge projects.

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