At today's Board of Public Works meeting, Governor Hogan announced a series of actions that his administration will take to expedite the Chesapeake Bay Bridge rehabilitation project.
1) MDOT will make every effort to expedite the project, and crews will work 24 hours a day.
2) MDTA will eliminate the toll booths and move to all-electronic tolling on the bridge as soon as possible.
3) MDOT, SHA, and the Maryland State Police will assist in improving the flow and direction of traffic.
4) Traffic engineers will work with Queen Anne's and Anne Arundel County leaders to negotiate a solution and find a balanced approach to westbound and eastbound traffic approaching the bridge.
5) Administration officials will redouble efforts to seek input from local leaders and residents.
Safety of the bridge:
In his remarks, the governor emphasized the deteriorating condition of the right lane of the bridge.
• In one section of the lane, 75 percent of the area is patched and deteriorated.
• In most of the lane, half of the area is patched and deteriorated.
• Delaying this work any further would turn this redecking into a more involved project that would cost eight times more and take five years to complete.
From the governor's prepared remarks:
"My most important responsibility is the safety of Maryland citizens. Not taking action is not an option. But I am demanding that every effort must be taken to complete this project as soon as possible. And I am demanding that all the experts look at every possible solution that is feasible.
"I have directed the Maryland Department of Transportation to make sure that the contractor is working 24 hours a day and that they are expediting this project. We have asked them to study solutions like faster drying concrete.
"I am directing that we eliminate all the toll booths all together and that we move fully to electronic tolling at the Bay Bridge as soon as possible.
"I am directing MDOT, SHA, and the Maryland State Police to assist and coordinate with MDTA and local governments in helping to move the traffic.
"I have also tasked every agency and all state employees and contractors involved in this project to take every possible step to minimize its impact on citizens, and to aggressively communicate the steps being taken.
"Anne Arundel County, which has more than 11 times the population of Queen Anne’s County, instituted contraflow, which did relieve the western side, but caused massive traffic on the shore. I have directed the traffic engineers and the intergovernmental team, to negotiate between local leaders in both counties, to find a balance in order to share the pain.
"I will continue to push the entire state government to do everything possible to mitigate the pain, shorten the time frame, and expedite the completion of the safety repairs."