Maryland is pushing ahead with the second phase of its Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study and offering open houses for the public to find out just what is in the works, and how transportation leaders got to this point.
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will host a virtual open house, plus one on the Kent Island side and one on the Annapolis side of the bridge on Sept. 7, 8 and 13. MDTA is offering the chance for visitors to learn about the $28 million Tier 2 National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) Study, which launched in early June. It looks further into solutions for congestion at the Bay Bridge and its approach highways from the Severn River Bridge to the U.S. 50/U.S. 301 split.
MDTA will be on hand to answer questions and provide comments, though there won’t be a formal presentation. They’ll also provide information on the first phase of the Bay Bridge Crossing Study.
The Tier 1 study, which wrapped up in April, looked at several locations for a possible new Bay crossing, along with a no-build alternative. It concluded that building a new span at Corridor 7 (the one containing the existing Bay Bridge) was most feasible. You can read the results at baycrossingstudy.com.
Corridor 7, the Selected Corridor Alternative, is 22 miles long and 2 miles wide. MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Jim Ports explains, “The Tier 2 study will identify and evaluate a No-Build Alternative as well as various crossing alignments and types—such as a new bridge, a bridge/tunnel or replacement of existing spans.”
The NEPA Tier 2 also aims to evaluate traffic, engineering and environmental impacts, and identify how unavoidable environmental impacts can be mitigated.
The $28 million study would take four to five years to complete. If one of the build routes is selected, there would be another step before final design, right-of-way acquisition, and construction. Building the bridge itself would cost up to $9 billion. If the No-Build Alternative were chosen, no further action would be taken.
The Tier 2 study also includes public involvement and comment opportunities, beginning with these open houses.
The MDTA open house details are as follows:
Virtual Open House
Wednesday, September 7, 6-8 p.m.
Queen Anne’s County Open House
Thursday, September 8, 6-8 p.m.
Kent Island American Legion Post 278
800 Romancoke Road, Stevensville, MD 21666
Anne Arundel County Open House
Tuesday, September 13, 6-8 p.m.
Broadneck High School
1265 Green Holly Dr., Annapolis, MD 21409
Whether or not you attend an open house, the MDTA is encouraging the public to provide comments regarding the Tier 2 NEPA Study by Friday, October 14, 2022. To submit comments you can:
- Submit an electronic comment form at baycrossingstudy.com.
- Email comments to [email protected].
- Print and mail a completed comment form to:
Bay Crossing Study,
2310 Broening Highway,
Baltimore, MD 21224.
- Provide a voicemail message 24/7 by calling 667-203-5408.
-Meg Walburn Viviano