Friday marks the second day in a row of late-day, all-cashless tolling on Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge to alleviate construction-related traffic backups that spiked a week ago.
Cashless tolling will be in effect Thursdays and Fridays from noon until 10 p.m. Drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass can travel through the toll plaza without stopping, and a bill for the toll will be sent to them in the mail. E-ZPass users are not affected.
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman called the Maryland Transportation Authority’s decision to institute cashless tolling through the duration of the bridge project a good step for the short-term.
“I was pleased that they were able to move so quickly,” Pittman said. But, he thinks more fixes are needed fast.
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“They have to do some infrastructure changes to be able to really keep the traffic moving, so I would like them to hold the redecking project until they remove those toll booths and put the overhead tolling system in,” Pittman said.
Overhead, all-electronic tolling that does not require drivers to slow down is already in place on the Intercounty Connector, and the state has long-term plans to switch to all-electronic tolling at all of its facilities.
There’s no word how soon the switch-over may happen on the Bay Bridge.
“Everybody’s been talking about it for years. It’s not my idea. I just don’t understand why it has not been done,” Pittman said.
Two other Maryland bridges are making the change in October.
All-electronic tolling will begin at the Hatem Bridge in Harford and Cecil counties on Oct. 16 and at the Key Bridge in Baltimore on Oct. 30.