FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 25, 2014
Contact: John Sales
HEAVY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC
ANTICIPATED AT MDTA TOLL FACILITIES
BALTIMORE, MD -- As summer comes to an unofficial close, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the more than 1.8 million motorists anticipated to travel its facilities over the Labor Day holiday weekend to plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe. This total represents a two percent increase in traffic volumes compared to last year.
MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, Aug. 29, and Monday, Sept. 1:
· William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 347,000.
· John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 453,000.
· Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) – more than 452,000.
An additional 573,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. All totals represent traffic in both directions.
The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend:
· Travel off-peak when heading to and from beach destinations. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:
- Thursday – before noon and after 10 p.m.
- Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Sunday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Labor Day Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
· Don’t Wing It. Plan Ahead!
- Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
- Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.
- Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
- Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
- Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
- For current toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.
· Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your holiday travels.
Reminder: If driving on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95), the Chesapeake and Maryland House Travel Plazas are both open for service.
Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will target aggressive drivers during the fourth wave of the Smooth Operator Program from Aug. 31 through Sept. 6. The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.
Please be aware of the new safety signage installed on the Bay Bridge, including:
- MANDATORY HEADLIGHT USE AREA signs along both the westbound and eastbound bridges, which were installed in May. Headlights are required at all times on the bridge. Enforcement will begin after the holiday weekend.
- Curve warning signs and 40 mph speed-limit signs prior to curves on both bridges;
- YOUR SPEED IS driver feedback signs on both bridges; and
- DO NOT TAILGATE signs on both bridges.
I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel: A major rehabilitation project is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Currently, traffic lanes on northbound I-95 split around the work zone between the Caton Avenue on-ramp and the Fort McHenry Tunnel: three lanes to the left and one lane to the right. Motorists in the three left lanes can NOT use Exit 52 (Russell Street), but can access Exits 53 (Northbound I-395) and 55 (Key Highway). KEEP RIGHT TO ACCESS RUSSELL STREET EXIT. The right lane still has access to Exits 53 and 55. Northbound I-95 Exit 54 (Hanover Street) is closed continuously through mid-September. The detour route directs motorists to Exit 55 (Key Highway), to McComas Street, to Hanover Street. In addition, the on-ramp from Russell Street to northbound I-95 is closed continuously through mid-September. The detour route directs motorists to Russell Street Service Drive, to southbound I-395, to northbound I-95. Automated Speed Enforcement equipment is operational on northbound I-95 throughout the work zone. Motorists should consider the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.
For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:
Bay Bridge westbound span. Lane changes between the westbound left and center lanes are prohibited for the entire span, whether or not two-way operations are in effect.
- Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use control signals.
- Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
- State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.
- Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
- Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
- Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.
- Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”
- If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
- State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, Aug. 29, including the E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 2.
For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!