How Baltimore Key Bridge collapse could affect Memorial Day weekend travel

People work on a standing section of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Baltimore. The FBI confirmed that agents were aboard the Dali conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)(AP/Julia Nikhinson)

Read more about the latest on the Key Bridge collapse and recovery in Baltimore.

With the additional challenge of a missing bridge this year, the Maryland Transportation Authority is hoping planning and awareness will improve the always-challenging Memorial Day weekend exodus.

“The Bay Bridge is, as usual, going to be our busy point for motorists,” said Tamory Winfield, spokesperson with the Maryland Transportation Authority.

However, with the Baltimore Key Bridge out of commission after its March 26 collapse, some beach seekers will be taking different routes than usual.

“We expect more than 330,000 vehicles across the Bay Bridge,” between Thursday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 28, the day after Memorial Day, said Winfield. “And we’re expect delays being in both directions, not where we think it will be just eastbound or just westbound.”

The transportation authority has posted the best times to travel across the Bay Bridge on its website.

“You can get the specific breakdown traveling in the direction you’re headed,” Winfield said. “And it breaks down to each day what those recommended travel times will be, to minimize travel delays.”

In general, Winfield said the best time to travel across the Bay Bridge would be before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

“Losing one of our harbor crossings definitely has added congestion to the other two harbor crossings — I-895 through the Harbor Tunnel and I-95 with the Fort McHenry Tunnels,” Winfield said.

Winfield said there are some things to keep in mind if you’re forced to take a new route, such as hazmat and height restrictions in both of those tunnels. Restrictions could apply to those traveling in an RV.

“Propane is allowed, but propane does have limits on it,” Winfield said. “It’s 10 pounds per container, with a maximum of 10 containers is what can be carried through the tunnel — anything beyond that would be prohibited.”

MDTA Police have specifics on vehicle restrictions on their website.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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