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Author Topic: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)  (Read 58928 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #350 on: September 03, 2020, 10:54:23 AM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.
The opposition seems to be from outside RE/T groups more than anything who have never traveled the bridge.

At least some of them have been touting ferries as an alternative to a new span.  That's a textbook example of a bad-faith alternative by project opponents, as most or all of them did not experience how bad this crossing was prior to 1952, when the two lane structure (now normally the eastbound span) opened to traffic. 

My Dad did, and has told me of waiting hours on summer weekends to cross with one of the ferries (there were two or three running during peak demand times), which  was run by the State Roads Commission (SRC), the direct predecessor to the State Highway Administration.

Ferries are inflexible, labor-intensive and generally cannot be scaled-up to handle peaks in demand (and there are plenty of those peaks in traffic crossing the Chesapeake Bay).
« Last Edit: September 03, 2020, 04:54:49 PM by cpzilliacus »
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epzik8

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #351 on: September 03, 2020, 11:14:43 AM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.
I didn't realize how many commuters to Baltimore and Washington are Eastern Shore residents.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #352 on: September 03, 2020, 11:30:55 AM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.

It doesn't matter what it is, someone will complain about it.
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RoadPelican

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #353 on: September 05, 2020, 08:15:24 AM »

Can almost guarantee that Maryland will end up just simply adding a third span to existing bridge. Best and most logical choice IMO too. No way a bridge would ever go all the way down to Talbot County. Way too far south and close to existing sanctuaries in the bay.

Too much impact on the Anne Arundel County side too. 

If the state wanted a crossing at a new location, it should be between Calvert County on the Western Shore and Dorchester County on the Eastern.  But the distance to cross is long, and there would presumably have to be an all-new approach road on the Dorchester side from the bridge landing to U.S. 50.  On the Calvert side, there would probably need to be improvements on the MD-2, MD-4 and MD-231 corridors. 

So the crossing (either a long overwater crossing or a bridge-tunnel) would be expensive, as would all of the work on the approaches.

I think the best option is the Calvert to Dorchester County crossing.  Baltimore/Annapolis traffic can use the existing Bay Bridge and DC/Northern Virginia/Southern MD can use the new span.

Building another span right next to the existing Bay Bridge is not a good idea.  Let's say the new bridge has four lanes, when the new bridge hits land it has to merge those lanes back into the existing 3 lane alignment of US 50/301.  So your talking about 7 lanes merging into 3, which would do nothing to solve the current traffic problems, plus all the right of way you would have to build up to fit the 4 lanes into a sensible merge point.

Build a 6 lane span from Calvert to Dorchester County, and upgrade Route 16 to a freeway until it hits US 50 just south of Cambridge.  Is it expensive?  Yes, but it solves the bridge traffic problem.
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famartin

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #354 on: September 05, 2020, 08:46:48 AM »

Can almost guarantee that Maryland will end up just simply adding a third span to existing bridge. Best and most logical choice IMO too. No way a bridge would ever go all the way down to Talbot County. Way too far south and close to existing sanctuaries in the bay.

Too much impact on the Anne Arundel County side too. 

If the state wanted a crossing at a new location, it should be between Calvert County on the Western Shore and Dorchester County on the Eastern.  But the distance to cross is long, and there would presumably have to be an all-new approach road on the Dorchester side from the bridge landing to U.S. 50.  On the Calvert side, there would probably need to be improvements on the MD-2, MD-4 and MD-231 corridors. 

So the crossing (either a long overwater crossing or a bridge-tunnel) would be expensive, as would all of the work on the approaches.

I think the best option is the Calvert to Dorchester County crossing.  Baltimore/Annapolis traffic can use the existing Bay Bridge and DC/Northern Virginia/Southern MD can use the new span.

Building another span right next to the existing Bay Bridge is not a good idea.  Let's say the new bridge has four lanes, when the new bridge hits land it has to merge those lanes back into the existing 3 lane alignment of US 50/301.  So your talking about 7 lanes merging into 3, which would do nothing to solve the current traffic problems, plus all the right of way you would have to build up to fit the 4 lanes into a sensible merge point.

Build a 6 lane span from Calvert to Dorchester County, and upgrade Route 16 to a freeway until it hits US 50 just south of Cambridge.  Is it expensive?  Yes, but it solves the bridge traffic problem.

Your argument assumes that 50/301 will never be widened on the approaches. Which is silly, frankly. A new 4 lane span would allow 50/301 to be widened from 3/3 to potentially 6/6 (assuming the current eastbound span becomes reversible, which would seem very realistic given the current reversible lane set-up used for the westbound span). Widening 50/301 would be relatively easy compared to a massive new bridge. Build the bridge first, then the rest of the highway can follow later. Right now the bottleneck is the bridge, where you can never have more than 3 in each direction and never 3 in both directions. A new 4-lane bridge would allow for 4 minimum each way at all times with potential for 6 in one of those directions.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #355 on: September 05, 2020, 09:29:55 AM »

Can almost guarantee that Maryland will end up just simply adding a third span to existing bridge. Best and most logical choice IMO too. No way a bridge would ever go all the way down to Talbot County. Way too far south and close to existing sanctuaries in the bay.

Too much impact on the Anne Arundel County side too. 

If the state wanted a crossing at a new location, it should be between Calvert County on the Western Shore and Dorchester County on the Eastern.  But the distance to cross is long, and there would presumably have to be an all-new approach road on the Dorchester side from the bridge landing to U.S. 50.  On the Calvert side, there would probably need to be improvements on the MD-2, MD-4 and MD-231 corridors. 

So the crossing (either a long overwater crossing or a bridge-tunnel) would be expensive, as would all of the work on the approaches.

I think the best option is the Calvert to Dorchester County crossing.  Baltimore/Annapolis traffic can use the existing Bay Bridge and DC/Northern Virginia/Southern MD can use the new span.

Building another span right next to the existing Bay Bridge is not a good idea.  Let's say the new bridge has four lanes, when the new bridge hits land it has to merge those lanes back into the existing 3 lane alignment of US 50/301.  So your talking about 7 lanes merging into 3, which would do nothing to solve the current traffic problems, plus all the right of way you would have to build up to fit the 4 lanes into a sensible merge point.

Build a 6 lane span from Calvert to Dorchester County, and upgrade Route 16 to a freeway until it hits US 50 just south of Cambridge.  Is it expensive?  Yes, but it solves the bridge traffic problem.

So you assume one option will have approach roads widened, but another option won't?
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froggie

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #356 on: September 05, 2020, 05:47:00 PM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.
The opposition seems to be from outside RE/T groups more than anything who have never traveled the bridge.

It's not "outside groups" doing the most complaining.  It's locals.  A more correct version of your comment would be "The opposition seems to be from locals who don't need to cross the bridge regularly."
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famartin

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #357 on: September 05, 2020, 07:24:43 PM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.
The opposition seems to be from outside RE/T groups more than anything who have never traveled the bridge.

It's not "outside groups" doing the most complaining.  It's locals.  A more correct version of your comment would be "The opposition seems to be from locals who don't need to cross the bridge regularly."

I guess the next questions are "don't they want relief from the traffic congestion which inevitably spills over onto local roads?"

Or does the congestion promote people stopping to visit local businesses, thereby making less congestion a bad thing?
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jeffandnicole

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #358 on: September 05, 2020, 08:06:23 PM »

Have people here not learned that locals anywhere often don't want change?
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seicer

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #359 on: September 09, 2020, 01:43:29 PM »

I happened to be along the eastern shore of Virginia for several days and had to drive to Columbia via US 50 and the Bay Bridge on Monday. Traffic was heavy moving westbound but without delays until I was 16 miles from the crossing. It took 2.5 hours with pretty much all side roads blocked off by either barriers or police. The one VMS that actually had a message showing said the optimal crossing time was... 11 PM.

sprjus4

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #360 on: September 09, 2020, 03:57:42 PM »

I happened to be along the eastern shore of Virginia for several days and had to drive to Columbia via US 50 and the Bay Bridge on Monday. Traffic was heavy moving westbound but without delays until I was 16 miles from the crossing. It took 2.5 hours with pretty much all side roads blocked off by either barriers or police. The one VMS that actually had a message showing said the optimal crossing time was... 11 PM.
To locals, that is considered adequate and no capacity expansion warranted. Cars bad.
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ipeters61

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #361 on: December 12, 2020, 06:46:51 PM »

I知 actually surprised there is much opposition at all. It seems like bridge backups are a big hassle for residents on both sides.
The opposition seems to be from outside RE/T groups more than anything who have never traveled the bridge.

It's not "outside groups" doing the most complaining.  It's locals.  A more correct version of your comment would be "The opposition seems to be from locals who don't need to cross the bridge regularly."

I guess the next questions are "don't they want relief from the traffic congestion which inevitably spills over onto local roads?"

Or does the congestion promote people stopping to visit local businesses, thereby making less congestion a bad thing?
Chestertown MD is filled with "No Bay Bridge to Kent [County]" signs.  Kent County MD is a very quiet area, the entire county having only 20,000 people (half the size of Dover DE, largest city on Delmarva).  US-301 is the one main road in Kent County, but Chestertown is served by MD-291 and MD-213, both presently low volume roads only serving the small population of the Eastern Shore.

I imagine their concern is pressures to develop immediately on the Eastern Shore in the Chestertown area.  I think the character of the area would change dramatically if a new bridge was built, but people in Chestertown want to keep the quiet lifestyle they've had for years there.

And living in Dover DE, where I'm surrounded by overdevelopment, I can't blame them.

That said, the Bay Bridge obviously is over congested.  I've always been a fan of expanding the existing corridor (i.e. a third span for the existing location).
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Rothman

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #362 on: December 12, 2020, 10:38:16 PM »

The last time I was in Dover (8 years ago), "overdeveloped" is not a word I would have used to describe it.
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ixnay

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #363 on: December 14, 2020, 10:18:47 AM »

The last time I was in Dover (8 years ago), "overdeveloped" is not a word I would have used to describe it.

What word would you have used?

ixnay
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Rothman

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #364 on: December 14, 2020, 12:57:52 PM »

The last time I was in Dover (8 years ago), "overdeveloped" is not a word I would have used to describe it.

What word would you have used?

ixnay
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ixnay

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #365 on: December 15, 2020, 11:30:36 AM »

And living in Dover DE, where I'm surrounded by overdevelopment, I can't blame them.

In what way is Dover overdeveloped?

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cpzilliacus

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #366 on: January 27, 2021, 10:11:31 AM »

Washington Post: Maryland, citing pandemic, delays release of draft study for third Bay Bridge span

Quote
Maryland officials have delayed the release of a draft study exploring where to build a third span for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, saying they had to postpone federally required public hearings due to the worsening pandemic.

Quote
The study, which analyzed the community and environmental impacts of three potential corridors for an additional span, was scheduled to be released last fall, said John Sales, spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority. Public hearings on the findings were scheduled for this winter.

Quote
The state was on track to meet that schedule, Sales said, until coronavirus infection rates and 殿ssociated restrictions increased. A plan to release the findings in December also was pushed back due to climbing coronavirus cases, he said.

Quote
撤roceeding with publishing the [draft study] and scheduling public hearing would not have been a safe choice while health officials were telling Marylanders they would be safer at home, Sales said.
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sprjus4

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #367 on: January 27, 2021, 10:44:34 AM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?
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hbelkins

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #368 on: January 27, 2021, 01:35:47 PM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #369 on: January 27, 2021, 01:44:20 PM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.

The way many states are doing public meetings now, via zoom and online meetings, along with posting documents online, offer more access, not less. 

Want to say that not everyone has access to the internet? Not everyone would have easy access to the documents either.  How would they get to a place with the documents available, or an in-person public meeting?  Chances are, if they could get to those places, then they could also get to a place with internet access. 

Something doesn't seem right about this delay.  Could be rather innocent, as in they needed more time, but blaming the pandemic at the same time they're loosing restrictions is a little baffling.
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Rothman

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #370 on: January 27, 2021, 08:46:12 PM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.

The way many states are doing public meetings now, via zoom and online meetings, along with posting documents online, offer more access, not less. 

Want to say that not everyone has access to the internet? Not everyone would have easy access to the documents either.  How would they get to a place with the documents available, or an in-person public meeting?  Chances are, if they could get to those places, then they could also get to a place with internet access. 

Something doesn't seem right about this delay.  Could be rather innocent, as in they needed more time, but blaming the pandemic at the same time they're loosing restrictions is a little baffling.
I disagree.  NYSDOT has had issues with holding virtual meetings itself and has gone back and forth with FHWA on requirements that need to be met.  The changing requirements from division offices have been a moving target and has caused delays in project development.

(personal opinion emphasized)
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cpzilliacus

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #371 on: January 27, 2021, 11:34:48 PM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.

This is probably not going to get federal funding, but Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and  NEPA probably apply anyway, and having public hearings in a "real" venue may be a way to prevent possible lawsuits by having a Zoom-based public hearing.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #372 on: January 27, 2021, 11:46:29 PM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.

The way many states are doing public meetings now, via zoom and online meetings, along with posting documents online, offer more access, not less. 

Want to say that not everyone has access to the internet? Not everyone would have easy access to the documents either.  How would they get to a place with the documents available, or an in-person public meeting?  Chances are, if they could get to those places, then they could also get to a place with internet access. 

Something doesn't seem right about this delay.  Could be rather innocent, as in they needed more time, but blaming the pandemic at the same time they're loosing restrictions is a little baffling.
I disagree.  NYSDOT has had issues with holding virtual meetings itself and has gone back and forth with FHWA on requirements that need to be met.  The changing requirements from division offices have been a moving target and has caused delays in project development.

(personal opinion emphasized)

NJDOT has some virtual meetings, and they have been extremely easy to view, and informative. And I don't have the guy next to me asking stupid questions about unrelated projects or telling NJDOT how much they suck.
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Rothman

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Re: US 50/301(Chesapeake Bay Bridge)
« Reply #373 on: January 28, 2021, 12:04:32 AM »

^

Are the virtual public meetings not acceptable?

Kentucky's been doing virtual public meetings in one form or another for a number of projects, including federally-funded ones. This may be an "err on the side of caution" move by Maryland to stave off a potential lawsuit if they move forward with the project and someone claims they weren't given an adequate chance to voice objections or offer input.

The way many states are doing public meetings now, via zoom and online meetings, along with posting documents online, offer more access, not less. 

Want to say that not everyone has access to the internet? Not everyone would have easy access to the documents either.  How would they get to a place with the documents available, or an in-person public meeting?  Chances are, if they could get to those places, then they could also get to a place with internet access. 

Something doesn't seem right about this delay.  Could be rather innocent, as in they needed more time, but blaming the pandemic at the same time they're loosing restrictions is a little baffling.
I disagree.  NYSDOT has had issues with holding virtual meetings itself and has gone back and forth with FHWA on requirements that need to be met.  The changing requirements from division offices have been a moving target and has caused delays in project development.

(personal opinion emphasized)

NJDOT has some virtual meetings, and they have been extremely easy to view, and informative. And I don't have the guy next to me asking stupid questions about unrelated projects or telling NJDOT how much they suck.
Having meetings does not mean there is no difficulty in getting them set up.  NYSDOT has held virtual meetings and pursued other means of public outreach.  Still, for projects where outreach has higher requirements, there's little question overall schedules have slipped here and there.

Keep in mind schedules slip, you re-baseline them and all of a sudden you're on time again...

(personal opinion emphasized)
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