Anne Arundel Co. executive says more Bay Bridge traffic improvements needed

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.

“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.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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