By Matt Petraglia
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Maryland highway officials have been hosting a series of open houses across the state this fall to educate the public on the various plans under consideration to alleviate traffic and deal with other issues on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The next open houses hosted by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Kent Island High School, 900 Love Point Road in Stevensville, and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Annapolis High School, 2700 Riva Road in Annapolis.
The meetings are required by federal regulations because the state is seeking federal financial assistance on the project.
“Our main purpose of these studies is to inform the public and gather comments,” said John Sales, the public affairs manager for the MDTA, during a meeting last week. “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback so far and plan to get more.”
The state initially considered 14 plans for handling congestion on the Bay Bridge. State officials have narrowed those plans down to three:
- Connect MD 100 to U.S. 301 between Pasadena in Anne Arundel County, Rock Hall in Kent County and Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.
- Modify the existing corridor of U.S. 50/301 to U.S. 50 between Crofton in Anne Arundel County and Queenstown in Queen Anne’s County.
- Connect U.S. 50/301 between Crofton in Anne Arundel County and Easton in Talbot County.
“Traffic relief is a huge part of [the new build proposal],” Sales said. At the open houses, officials display traffic flow analysis for each build option, as well as financial and environmental considerations.
This is the first time the state has done a tiered study as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, Sales said. Following the completion of the first phase of the study, the state could be asked to conduct a second-phase study.
For more information or to view slides from the open houses, visit www.baycrossingstudy.com