Heading to the beach? The best times to travel the Bay Bridge over Memorial Day weekend

Maryland authorities are expecting drivers around the D.C. region to make a beeline for the Bay Bridge amid a predicted surge in travel this Memorial Day weekend as coronavirus restrictions ease.

If you’re heading for the beach, the Maryland Department of Transportation has some helpful tips about the best time to approach the Bay Bridge.

Overall, congestion on Maryland roadways, including along U.S. 50 over the bridge, is expected to begin Friday, and drivers should expect delays over the weekend. The heaviest volumes eastbound are expected Thursday through Saturday, with heavier volumes westbound Sunday and Monday.

According to MDOT, the best off-peak times to travel the Bay Bridge over the holiday weekend will be:

  • Thursday, May 27 – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Friday, May 28 – before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 29 – before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 30 – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  • Memorial Day Monday, May 31 – before 8 a.m. and after 11 p.m.

For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, drivers can call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com. You can also sign up for email/text alerts online.

Also be sure to tune to 103.5 FM on your radio dial if you’re traveling over the weekend to get the latest updates from the WTOP Traffic Center.

Other Maryland routes on which you will likely encounter heavy traffic are Interstate 70 and Interstate 68 toward western Maryland and Interstate 95 North toward Delaware.

Maryland transportation authorities are urging drivers to wear their seat belts and drive safely.

“After enduring a long period of challenge and sacrifice due to the pandemic, Marylanders are anxious to spend time with family and friends at our state’s beautiful beaches, mountains and parks,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said in a news release. “As we celebrate, we must work together to promote safety and ensure Memorial Day is a time for joy and remembrance, not tragedy.

Drivers are also being reminded that cashless tolling is now permanent throughout the state, meaning drivers don’t stop at toll booths anymore. Instead, tolls are collected through E-ZPass, video tolling or a new “Pay-By-Plate” option that allows tolls to be automatically billed to a registered credit card.

You can enroll in E-ZPass for a transponder or sign up for the “Pay-By-Plate” option on the state’s DriveEzMD.com website.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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