MDTA CREWS READY
FOR WINTER STORM
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The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), the agency that finances, owns, operates and maintains the State's eight toll facilities, is prepared for the winter storm predicted to start Friday. MDTA crews are ready for winter weather that could bring dangerous driving conditions and strong winds to Maryland.
Drive only if it's absolutely necessary. Consider altering travel plans to allow crews time to clear routes. If you must drive:
- Do not pass snow plows and salting trucks.
- Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Remember bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads will freeze first.
- If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
- Stay alert and use caution.
Snow or highs winds would prevent two-way operations (when one lane of eastbound traffic travels on the westbound span) at the Bay Bridge during Friday's afternoon rush-hour, which may result in significant eastbound delays. Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge conditions. On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below:
- Wind Warnings (sustained wind speeds of 30-39 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 30 mph over a period of 15 mins) operators of house trailers, box trailers, motorcycles, vehicles with roof-mount racks containing cargo or any other vehicle that may be subject to high winds are advised to use caution while traveling across the bridge.
- Limited Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds of 40-49 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 40 mph over a period of 15 mins) house trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge. Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.
- Full Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds exceeding 50 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 50 mph over a period of 15 mins) only automobiles, pickup trucks, flatbed trailers, commercial buses and heavy-laden tractor/trailers are permitted to cross the bridge. Tractor-box trailer combinations will not be permitted to cross any bridge if the gross weight is less than 64,000 pounds.
- Traffic Holds/Bridge Closure (sustained wind speeds exceeding 55 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 55 mph over a period of 15 mins) In the event of a sudden increase of sustained wind speeds or wind gusts that could jeopardize life or property, the MDTA may elect to discontinue the movement of all traffic across the bridge.
As the MDTA prepares for potentially severe weather, it has no immediate plans to close any toll facilities. However, expect the I-95 Express Toll Lanes in Baltimore to close if snow amounts reach eight inches so crews can focus on clearing the adjacent lanes of mainline I-95. Any decision to close a toll facility would be based upon current weather and road conditions at a given facility. The MDTA will make every effort to keep all of its facilities open as long as conditions are deemed safe to do so.
To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. Know Before You Go! Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. Follow MEMA at twitter/MDMEMA or go to mema.maryland.gov for the latest storm track & preparedness information.
The MDTA reminds motorists to avoid traveling if possible.