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Author Topic: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)  (Read 54177 times)

Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #175 on: August 27, 2019, 07:58:04 PM »

IMO, I think it unlikely that either of the existing bridges will be torn-down. Even the older bridge (opened to traffic in 1952) has quite a bit of useful life left (supposedly it was designed with an estimated life span of 100 years). Same applies to the newer span, opened in 1972 or 1973 (I do not feel like looking it up).   I seriously doubt that Maryland's elected officials would consent to the tear-down of either structure.
They would have to replace that 5 lanes of capacity with new bridge(s).  That would be really expensive.  I don't know if they were thinking about a 100 year lifespan in 1952, but a bridge of that magnitude will be kept in operation as long as possible, over 100 years if possible.

Both bridges have had major redeckings, and the 1973 bridge is in the final stages of stripping/repainting the bridge with the work on the Eastern Channel bridge.

Both bridges meet modern structural standards, the only problem being that 5 lanes is inadequate for an AADT of about 70,000, and holiday peak day volumes of about 100,000.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #176 on: August 27, 2019, 08:05:40 PM »

A new crossing at Tolchester Beach or Rock Hall is nice from a network redundancy point of view...
Also beside redundancy, one thing a separate crossing brings is a better likelihood of more capacity.  If you expand the existing crossing you likely would go from 5 lanes to 8 lanes.  Building a second crossing could bring you from 5 lanes to 11 lanes with a new 6 lane crossing. 
Granted that leaves you with continuing to use the existing bridges and eventually still having to replace them.  And that's probably more capacity than is needed.
I very much doubt that a 6-lane bridge would be built for either a northern or southern crossing.  Based on traffic volumes, four lanes at most, and due to costs maybe even 2 lanes.

As far as redundancy goes, the northern crossing would be poorly positioned to handle Washington traffic, and the southern crossing would be poorly positioned to handle Baltimore traffic.

Having 3 spans at the existing crossing would seem to provide ample redundancy.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #177 on: August 28, 2019, 12:33:43 AM »

I say demolish the existing bridges and build a 10-lane bridge (or two 5-lane bridges) with 4 general purpose lanes, 1 HOV lane, and 12 foot outside and inside shoulders in each direction, along with widening the highway between at least I-97 (or maybe all the way to I-495) and the US-301 / US-50 split to 4 GP + 1 HOV. Toll all lanes in both directions with electronic tolling over the bridge.

Similar to how the Tappan Zee Bridge was done in New York.

Expensive, but would definitely have adequate capacity.

A way to phase it and use the existing infrastructure in place could be to build only one 5-lane bridge now for one direction, and use the existing bridges for the other 5 lanes heading the other direction, and just split it 2 + 3. Once the current bridges start to reach the end of their lifespan, then build a new parallel 5-lane bridge and tear down the existing bridges.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2019, 12:39:30 AM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #178 on: August 28, 2019, 12:53:28 AM »

I say demolish the existing bridges and build a 10-lane bridge (or two 5-lane bridges) with 4 general purpose lanes, 1 HOV lane, and 12 foot outside and inside shoulders in each direction, along with widening the highway between at least I-97 (or maybe all the way to I-495) and the US-301 / US-50 split to 4 GP + 1 HOV. Toll all lanes in both directions with electronic tolling over the bridge.
Similar to how the Tappan Zee Bridge was done in New York.
Expensive, but would definitely have adequate capacity.
Good luck.  The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is considerably longer and higher than the Tappan Zee Bridge, and the structure of the TZB was never intended to last that long and was basically shot, and both CBB have had major rehab projects.  There is nothing wrong with the structures themselves.

Also good luck building two such bridges each with an 84 foot roadway for that highway at that location.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #179 on: August 28, 2019, 09:16:17 PM »

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/08/28/gov-hogan-there-is-only-one-option-i-will-ever-accept-relieve-bay-bridge-backups/

Maryland transportation officials are still studying how to best reduce traffic backups at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. But Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said Wednesday that building a third span at the existing bridge is the only option he would approve.

“There is only one option I will ever accept: adding a third span to our existing Bay Bridge,” Hogan tweeted.   “While the federal process requires multiple proposals, the data is indisputable — this option would maximize congestion relief & minimize environmental impact.”

Hogan, citing information from the state study, said not building a third span would result in 14-mile delays at the bridge by 2040.  Building a third span, he tweeted, is “the only serious way forward” to relieve cross-bay traffic congestion.


See the URL for the rest of the article.

As can be expected, the RE/T groups are cited in saying that this won't do any good.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #180 on: August 29, 2019, 08:56:45 PM »

Reviving dead transportation projects is nothing new. A prime example is the ICC, which was killed off in the mid-90s, only to be brought back to life sometime in the aughts, and completed by 2012. Since Hogan will be out of office by 2022, the Red Line (which he killed in 2015) may get a second life afterwards.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #181 on: August 29, 2019, 09:20:20 PM »

Here is my prediction. A suspension bridge built using concrete towers and a truss deck, think new span of the Tacoma Narrows. Reasoning: you can space the towers exactly like the current ones, allowing for a clearer navigational channel. That is the standard for all twin bridges as far as i know. The span between the suspension and the secondary channel would be a concrete cantiliver. Then the eastern channel...just to be fancy, a small cable stay bridge, or an arch just to show off MDTA engineering.
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Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #182 on: August 29, 2019, 09:43:25 PM »

The concept to build a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge has never been a "dead transportation project".

For at least the last 30 years it has been seen as a real need for the future.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #183 on: October 13, 2019, 09:49:09 PM »

Not good because I have been needing to make several trips a month to the Eastern Shore.  My weekday trips have not yet encountered one of these jams.  One lane closed on the 3-lane westbound bridge.

A maintenance project scheduled to keep part of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge closed for most of the next two years has created what many motorists and residents say is unprecedented traffic misery on both sides of the bay.

Autumn backups are rivaling those typically seen on the busiest summer beach weekends. Eastbound backups one recent Friday stretched for 14 miles, snarling traffic across a large swath of Anne Arundel County for 10 hours.

In Queen Anne’s County, where the bridge touches down on the Eastern Shore, traffic headed west on a recent Sunday evening stacked up for almost nine miles.  The area now sees Monday morning backups that motorists say have added up to 45 minutes to already lengthy commutes.
[....]

With about 40,000 vehicles crossing daily, the impacts of closing one lane of the westbound span to replace the bridge deck have rippled far beyond the crossing.  Area residents say Waze and other navigation apps have spread the problem by rerouting motorists onto local roads that quickly become swamped.

The Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the bridge, declined to make anyone available for an interview.

In an emailed statement, spokeswoman Kelly Melhem said the $27 million project is “critical” to preserve the four-mile bridge, and the transportation authority is asking for “patience and understanding during these necessary safety repairs.”
[....]

See the URL for the rest.
Bridge repairs bring unprecedented traffic misery to both sides of Chesapeake Bay
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bridge-repairs-bring-unprecedented-traffic-misery-to-both-sides-of-chesapeake-bay/2019/10/13/a9049080-eac0-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html
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sprjus4

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #184 on: October 13, 2019, 10:13:50 PM »

Not good because I have been needing to make several trips a month to the Eastern Shore.  My weekday trips have not yet encountered one of these jams.  One lane closed on the 3-lane westbound bridge.

A maintenance project scheduled to keep part of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge closed for most of the next two years has created what many motorists and residents say is unprecedented traffic misery on both sides of the bay.

Autumn backups are rivaling those typically seen on the busiest summer beach weekends. Eastbound backups one recent Friday stretched for 14 miles, snarling traffic across a large swath of Anne Arundel County for 10 hours.

In Queen Anne’s County, where the bridge touches down on the Eastern Shore, traffic headed west on a recent Sunday evening stacked up for almost nine miles.  The area now sees Monday morning backups that motorists say have added up to 45 minutes to already lengthy commutes.
[....]

With about 40,000 vehicles crossing daily, the impacts of closing one lane of the westbound span to replace the bridge deck have rippled far beyond the crossing.  Area residents say Waze and other navigation apps have spread the problem by rerouting motorists onto local roads that quickly become swamped.

The Maryland Transportation Authority, which operates the bridge, declined to make anyone available for an interview.

In an emailed statement, spokeswoman Kelly Melhem said the $27 million project is “critical” to preserve the four-mile bridge, and the transportation authority is asking for “patience and understanding during these necessary safety repairs.”
[....]

See the URL for the rest.
Bridge repairs bring unprecedented traffic misery to both sides of Chesapeake Bay
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bridge-repairs-bring-unprecedented-traffic-misery-to-both-sides-of-chesapeake-bay/2019/10/13/a9049080-eac0-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html
45 minute backups? Just sounds like a typical Friday on nearby I-95 leaving south. Been there, done that countless times. Thankfully my travels no longer take me up to Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 10:20:24 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #185 on: October 13, 2019, 10:23:59 PM »

Not good because I have been needing to make several trips a month to the Eastern Shore.  My weekday trips have not yet encountered one of these jams.  One lane closed on the 3-lane westbound bridge.

(snipped article quote)
See the URL for the rest.
Bridge repairs bring unprecedented traffic misery to both sides of Chesapeake Bay
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/bridge-repairs-bring-unprecedented-traffic-misery-to-both-sides-of-chesapeake-bay/2019/10/13/a9049080-eac0-11e9-85c0-85a098e47b37_story.html
45 minute backups? Just sounds like a typical Friday on nearby I-95 leaving south. Been there, done that countless times. Thankfully my travels no longer take me up to Northern Virginia / Southern Maryland.
I understand why the Eastern Shore is weary about adding a second Bay Bridge, but at the same time, this is why NIMBYism becomes dangerous.  At some point work is going to have to be done on the one bridge that carries people between the Eastern and Western Shores and this is inevitably going to happen.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #186 on: October 13, 2019, 10:34:03 PM »

Operate ferry service instead - don't need an overbuilt piece of infrastructure just because of some inconveniences. Ferry fleet can be scaled up and down as needed.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #187 on: October 13, 2019, 10:39:57 PM »

^ There comes a point where crossing demand vs. ferry supply becomes cost-ineffective compared to a fixed bridge.  The Bay Bridge is very much in that category.
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Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #188 on: October 13, 2019, 11:20:46 PM »

45 minute backups? Just sounds like a typical Friday on nearby I-95 leaving south. Been there, done that countless times.
No delays when I do that on the HOT lanes, at least until the HOT lanes end south of Garrisonville.   In 2023 there will be HOT lanes and C-D lanes all the way to south of VA-3 at Fredericksburg.

I understand why the Eastern Shore is weary about adding a second Bay Bridge, but at the same time, this is why NIMBYism becomes dangerous.  At some point work is going to have to be done on the one bridge that carries people between the Eastern and Western Shores and this is inevitably going to happen.
The problem with the current project (granted it is justified due to the age of the bridge deck) is that it is spilling those summer-weekend-scale delays into many other hours of the week that are not normal delay periods.

The project maintenance of traffic narrows the westbound bridge to 2 lanes, and makes it infeasible to reverse its inside lane when 3 eastbound lanes are needed.

IOW, traffic is restricted to 2 lanes each way at all times, thus causing the cited problems.

At least next summer all 5 lanes will be kept open and most work will be shutdown for the summer.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #189 on: October 14, 2019, 06:01:32 AM »

No delays when I do that on the HOT lanes, at least until the HOT lanes end south of Garrisonville.   In 2023 there will be HOT lanes and C-D lanes all the way to south of VA-3 at Fredericksburg.
Good for you, I didn’t feel like paying $30 one-way during my Friday afternoon commutes.

Based on the countless times my travels had me leaving that area at that time, the additional time is nothing compared to the hundreds of dollars I’ve saved. I don’t see that type of money worth the “incentive” of getting somewhere 30 minutes faster.

People pay taxes, I paid my fair share of gas taxes when I was up there, where’s the money going? Tolls? HO/T lanes? How about some more general purpose improvements. 4th lane each way? Seemed to be a lot of GP improvements before 2014. 4-lane widening north of Woodbridge, Springfield Interchange, Woodrow Wilson Bridge, etc. then it just suddenly stopped. But I digress. There’s already a thread for all this.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 06:13:19 AM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #190 on: October 14, 2019, 07:25:32 AM »

No delays when I do that on the HOT lanes, at least until the HOT lanes end south of Garrisonville.   In 2023 there will be HOT lanes and C-D lanes all the way to south of VA-3 at Fredericksburg.
Good for you, I didn’t feel like paying $30 one-way during my Friday afternoon commutes.
Based on the countless times my travels had me leaving that area at that time, the additional time is nothing compared to the hundreds of dollars I’ve saved. I don’t see that type of money worth the “incentive” of getting somewhere 30 minutes faster.
You haven't had "countless times my travels had me leaving that area at that time".

Why do you keep inciting arguments with me?  This is not a VA I-95 thread.  The group moderators have issued formal warnings to you and I several times already.  You apparently don't have enough online group experience to know what that means.
 
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 07:32:05 AM by Beltway »
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #191 on: October 14, 2019, 01:49:18 PM »

Whatever happens to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the future, I hope they can add breakdown shoulders to the bridge. The lanes look very narrow, too, and there are no bicycle/pedestrian accommodations. Is there any way to add safety and design improvements to the Chesapeake without having to build a whole new bridge from scratch?
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Beltway

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #192 on: October 14, 2019, 03:29:40 PM »

Whatever happens to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the future, I hope they can add breakdown shoulders to the bridge. The lanes look very narrow, too, and there are no bicycle/pedestrian accommodations. Is there any way to add safety and design improvements to the Chesapeake without having to build a whole new bridge from scratch?
The lanes are normal width, 12 feet wide.  The westbound bridge could be restriped to 2 lanes and have a full right shoulder, but of course while that would provide modern safety standards, the 3rd lane would be lost.

I question whether bicycle/pedestrian accommodations should ever be part of a bridge that is that long and that high above the water.   I have a mountain bike that I ride, but I would have to think hard before crossing a bridge that long and that high, given the vagaries of weather and high winds.  I walked across it once in a Bay Bridge Walk, and that is a looooooonnnngg walk!
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #193 on: October 14, 2019, 04:26:23 PM »

No delays when I do that on the HOT lanes, at least until the HOT lanes end south of Garrisonville.   In 2023 there will be HOT lanes and C-D lanes all the way to south of VA-3 at Fredericksburg.
Good for you, I didn’t feel like paying $30 one-way during my Friday afternoon commutes.
Based on the countless times my travels had me leaving that area at that time, the additional time is nothing compared to the hundreds of dollars I’ve saved. I don’t see that type of money worth the “incentive” of getting somewhere 30 minutes faster.
You haven't had "countless times my travels had me leaving that area at that time".

Why do you keep inciting arguments with me?  This is not a VA I-95 thread.  The group moderators have issued formal warnings to you and I several times already.  You apparently don't have enough online group experience to know what that means.
Who are you to dictate when and where my travels take me? At least 15 times I’ve down the trip outbound on a Friday afternoon.

I simply made a comparison that the backups sound like nearby I-95. You’re the one who made the comment regarding HO/T lanes, which you know is only going to provoke things. If you can’t read, I put at the end “I digress, there’s already another thread for this”.

You’re taking my legitimate argument regarding the HO/T lanes and VDOT’s lack of GP improvements after there inception, and you’re merely turning it around to make personal attacks.

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #194 on: October 14, 2019, 07:05:14 PM »

There's about to be a nice little timeout for you two if you don't knock off baiting each other and taking the bait.

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #195 on: October 14, 2019, 07:09:01 PM »

There's about to be a nice little timeout for you two if you don't knock off baiting each other and taking the bait.
I made a comment comparing the Bay Bridge congestion to nearby I-95. Nothing was intended as "bait". The only baiting was the HO/T lane card, which has been used umpteenth times.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #196 on: October 14, 2019, 07:10:15 PM »

I question whether bicycle/pedestrian accommodations should ever be part of a bridge that is that long and that high above the water.   I have a mountain bike that I ride, but I would have to think hard before crossing a bridge that long and that high, given the vagaries of weather and high winds.  I walked across it once in a Bay Bridge Walk, and that is a looooooonnnngg walk!
RE/T groups would demand any new bridge accommodate a nice walking path polished with scenic lookout points, should a bridge be built and the state makes it past their demands of no bridge to begin with.

The lanes are normal width, 12 feet wide.  The westbound bridge could be restriped to 2 lanes and have a full right shoulder, but of course while that would provide modern safety standards, the 3rd lane would be lost.
The narrow feeling I think comes from the lack of any shoulder, and having a wall on either side. 12 foot lanes is normal width, but it's also normal to have at least 4 ft on one side, preferably more.

Closing the third lane on the one span would be a mistake.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 07:12:56 PM by sprjus4 »
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #197 on: October 14, 2019, 08:26:29 PM »

Quote from: Beltway
I question whether bicycle/pedestrian accommodations should ever be part of a bridge that is that long and that high above the water.

The same question was asked about the WWB path.  It's become quite popular since completion.

I would expect a bike/ped path on any new Bay Bridge to get used.  Perhaps not much by pedestrians (aside from longer-distance runners), but it would certainly get used by bikes, especially if folks between Annapolis and Kent Island would no longer have to hop in a car to bike the Baltimore & Annapolis and Cross Island trails and the path along Route 8.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #198 on: October 14, 2019, 08:38:23 PM »

^ There comes a point where crossing demand vs. ferry supply becomes cost-ineffective compared to a fixed bridge.  The Bay Bridge is very much in that category.

Base load vis-a-vis peak load, like with power generation. Reserve ferry service for the peak loads. Don't build the base load (bridge) for a few summertime weekends when it goes under-utilized the rest of the year.
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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #199 on: October 14, 2019, 09:00:01 PM »

^ There comes a point where crossing demand vs. ferry supply becomes cost-ineffective compared to a fixed bridge.  The Bay Bridge is very much in that category.

Base load vis-a-vis peak load, like with power generation. Reserve ferry service for the peak loads. Don't build the base load (bridge) for a few summertime weekends when it goes under-utilized the rest of the year.
Do you honestly think anyone would want to take a ferry when a bridge is so much faster and doesn't involve waiting for the boat?  I honestly avoid ferries unless I need to use one to clinch something, as they're a major hassle and time penalty to deal with.
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