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Posted on: October 15, 2019

Letter to Secretary Rahn Regarding Use of Contra Flow & Lane #1 Deck Rehab Schedule Modifications

October ll,2019

Mr. Pete K. Rahn, Secretary

Maryland Department of Transportation

7201 Corporate Center Drive

Post Office Box 548

Hanover, Maryland 2107 6-0548

William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge

Use of Contra Flow &Lane #l Deck Rehabilitation Schedule Modifications

Dear Secretary Rahn

The Commissioners of Queen Anne's County hereby disapprove and reject the use of contra flow on the

westbound span of the Bay Bridge as a matter of general public saftey. We hereby petition the Authority and

SUPPORT discontinuing the use of contra flow on the westbound span until further discussions can take place

to evaluate the negative consequences outline herein.

LANE #1 DECK REHABILITATION SCHEDULE MODIFICATIONS

The Maryland Transportation Authority has made several proposals to potentially shorten the duration of the

$27 million re-decking project from the current stated plan of two off peak construction seasons. An off peak

construction season being defined as the time period commencing after the September Labor Day Holiday

through April 15. These proposals will provide your contractor additional time to schedule required deck work

and allow for concrete curing time with the consequence of prolonging traffic delays and routine major backups.

We have considered these options and offer our recommendations as follows.

Work through the Thanksgiving Holiday - The current plan has all three westbound lanes reopened

during the Thanksgiving Holiday when traffic volumes are expected to be high. The schedule

modification proposed would allow the contractor to keep Lane #l closed during this time period for

concrete curing. This will create major backups will impact local retail sales that are typical during this

holiday period. We SUPPORT this proposal.

2. Work until April 30 - This schedule modification provides the contractor two additional weeks for work

activity and for concrete curing time. It will cancel the scheduled l0 K Across the Bay Run. We

SUPPORT this proposal.

3. Work until May 15 - This schedule modification provides the contractor two additional weeks for work

activity and for concrete curing time. It will cancel the scheduled 10 K Across the Bay Run and impact

the early beach season, Mother's Day Holiday and Spring Break. We would like to revisit this proposal

at such time that it can be determined that this schedule extension would result in a significant early

completion date. We welcome future discussions on this proposal.

4. Allow Periodic Closures of Lane #2 - This proposal would allow the contractor to close Lane #2 (the

center lane on the westbound span) Monday through Wednesday from 5 pm until 5 am to allow for deck

milling operations. This effectively would leave only one lane for west bound traffic during the

scheduled closure time and will create major traffic backups at peak travel times. We consider this

proposal to be extremely risky from a public safety standpoint and a considerable disadvantage for

westbound traffic.

USE OF CONTRA FLOW

We were notified of this project only a few weeks in advance of the contractor's notice to proceed. Since that

time there have been a number of operational changes aimed towards mitigating major traffic backups, the most

significant being the use of contra flow on the west bound span. Contra flow being defined as permitting twoway

traffic on the westbound span.

During initial reports, we were advised that contra flow was not going to be permitted due to the required west

bound lane narrowing and for vehicle safety. The initial decision of not allowing contra flow was then reversed

specifically for Thursday and Friday afternoons. Trucks, EMS vehicles, busses and all other commercial

vehicles are prohibited to travel west during contra flow operations which resulted in a myriad of consequences

and major backups during the most critical mid-afternoon time.

EMS services are severely disrupted, we send Emergency vehicles west across the Bridge more than a thousand

times per year, an average of three times per day. Some of these are patients in extreme conditions. It is

unimaginable to launch transports with high priority cardiac issues into traffic jams or reroute them to Easton.

We have six public schools all within a few miles of the US 50/ Route 8 interchange. Initiation of contra flow

severely impacts our bus schedules for both the primary and secondary runs. School busses and/or parents could

not pick up students on schedule due mainline backups on US 50 and all of the side roads being gridlocked.

Our MTA Busses stranded passengers for hours due to contra flow restrictions on the return run to the western

Shore.

Tractor Trailer Trucks were rerouted which jammed all our side roads. Many trucks were routed to Route 8

South where they had to then turn around and stage along Maryland Route 8.

Truck Drivers using log books limit their on-duty/driving time so if a driver decides to wait out an expected

two-hour closure and only has two hours left on the time clock, it could cause the commercial driver to take

their 1O-hour off duty with nowhere to park. This is a major effect to interstate commerce.

It does not support public safety and well-being to have this destructive combination of public inconvenience,

added to an inability to respond to fire and medical emergencies. We most strongly urge our State Authority to

understand the gravity of these circumstances which are directly associated with contra flow on the west bound

span. We request a discussion, seriously considering a new and less perilous response than that cunently being

employed.

QUEEN ANNE'S COUNTY

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

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