Maryland studies adding third Bay Bridge span

WASHINGTON – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and regular traffic backups at Bay Bridge.

If there’s any strategy to beating beach traffic, Washingtonians tend to try timing their Bay Bridge crossing for moments when traffic volume will be lighter. But it doesn’t always work out, which begs the question: Should there be a third span to handle traffic?

The Maryland Transportation Authority has opened a two-year, $800,000 study of the Bay Bridge to determine if a new crossing is necessary. The study will look at the growth of traffic to determine future capacity needs, The Baltimore Sun reports, but won’t say where such a crossing would be built.

The bridge, Maryland’s only Chesapeake Bay crossing, carries an estimated 30 million vehicles a year. The Sun says that the bridge is considered structurally sound but functionally obsolete.

Building a new span would be costly. One state estimate puts the price at about $3 billion.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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