The Queen Anne County, Maryland, sheriff said the medical emergency that caused the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to be closed completely during multiple hours on Saturday afternoon has been resolved.
The bridge’s traffic flow should resume shortly, the Sheriff’s Department tweeted just before 6 p.m., noting the delay was caused by a person suffering a mental health “issue.”
The eastbound span of the bridge was alternately closed, or had just one lane moving for much of Saturday afternoon. The westbound span was shut down, along with the entire bridge, for quarter hours at a time beginning at about 4:30 p.m.
WTOP traffic reporter Steve Dresner said traffic on the Bay Bridge returned to normal before 9 p.m., with three lanes of traffic heading westbound and two lanes heading eastbound. Westbound lanes were at their full capacity just before 7 p.m., but there was a delay of over 6 miles approaching the bridge.
The first incident related to the delay was reported just before 10 a.m. Saturday.
Earlier in the day, police redirected traffic to the north, and drivers reported trips that should have taken minutes taking hours, instead.
Drivers attempting to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in either direction may want to make other plans. Police activity on the bridge is causing major delays and occasional closures. Police redirected traffic to avoid the bridge entirely.
Starting just after 4:30 p.m., police began closing the bridge in both directions. For a short period of time, there were no cars on the bridge, then traffic began to flow in a reduced capacity. However, just minutes later, traffic was once again stopped. This stop-and-start process continued for about an hour.
One caller to WTOP’s Traffic Center, according to Dresner, said it took three hours just to get to the bridge from Wye Mills, Maryland. Normally, the trip should take less than 20 minutes.
The cars waiting to enter the bridge from the Annapolis side of the bay, were in about a four-mile jam. Coming from the east, however, on the approach to Kent Island, the line stretched for approximately six miles at its peak.
Those yet to make the trip should know that US-50 Westbound is being redirected onto MD-213 to send traffic north to US-301.
The detour, per the Maryland State Highway Administration at about 2:30 p.m., routed drivers north to cross the Chesapeake Bay near Elkton, Maryland and then drive back south on I-95.
Motorists who need to reach the western shore are urged to use MD 213 N or US 301 N to cross the Susquehanna north of Baltimore on I-95 or US 40. Stay tuned to radio for traffic updates or use @MD511State and @TheMDTA da #MDTraffic #mdotnews
— MD State Highway Adm (@MDSHA) October 3, 2020
Drivers can get the latest updates on the backup by tuning into the WTOP Traffic Center at 103.5 FM, or by using WTOP’s listen live page.
See the latest traffic conditions below:
This is a developing story. Check back with WTOP for updates.