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Date: Aug 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 23, 2012

Contact:          Cheryl Sparks or Lesli Leath

                        410-537-1017

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 one-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. 31, and Monday, Sept. 3:

  • William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 347,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 431,000.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) – more than 452,000.

An additional 585,000 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 10 a.m. 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 live traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for traffic and email alerts.
    • Visit facebook.com/TheMDTA or follow TheMDTA on Twitter.
    • 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.  The new cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Bay Bridge is $4.

Those traveling in or around Baltimore should note that the Baltimore Grand Prix will bring additional traffic to the area Friday through Sunday and will result in major delays on I-95.  Motorists whose destinations are north or south of the city are urged to use I-895 or I-695.  Portions of I-395 will be closed between Wednesday, Aug. 29 and Tuesday, Sept. 4.  Consider public transportation – Light Rail, Metro Subway and Local Bus provide transit options.  Visit mta.maryland.gov for more information.

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.  The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles. 

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

  • Electronic message signs will display information on travel time, delays, incidents and alternate routes.
  • Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
  • Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland. 
  • Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
  • Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.  Please note that the scaffolding around the westbound Bay Bridge towers is for an ongoing painting project.
  • Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Make sure your vehicle is “road ready”-- one disabled vehicle can cause extensive backups. 
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance. 
  • Move over when passing an emergency situation.  If you are unable to move over, slow down.

The MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.

In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, Aug. 31, 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. 4.

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience.  Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 21, 2012

Contact:          Cheryl Sparks or Lesli Leath

                        410-537-1017

EVENING E-ZPASS OPEN HOUSES SCHEDULED FOR HATEM BRIDGE MOTORISTS

Sales of AVI Decals End Aug. 31

BALTIMORE, MD The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) has scheduled two evening open houses for motorists who travel the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) to offer customers another opportunity to learn about and enroll in E-ZPass plans.  Sept. 30 is the last day to use AVI Decals at the Hatem Bridge toll plaza.  AVI Decals will no longer be sold after Aug. 31. 

The MDTA will hold two community open houses from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

  • Aug. 29 at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane.
  • Sept. 5 at Perryville High School, 1696 Perryville Road.

Please bring your vehicle license plate numbers(s) and cash, check or a credit card.

As the September conversion to E-ZPass deadline approaches, area E-ZPass Stop-in Centers will become extremely busy.  The best way to avoid long lines is to sign up on-line at ezpassmd.com.  Existing Maryland E-ZPass account holders may call the Customer Service Center at 1-888-321-6824 to add the Hatem Bridge Choice B Plan to their accounts. 

The MDTA continues to visit community locations and local employers to sign up customers for E-ZPass.  Visit mdta.maryland.gov for upcoming events through September and consider opening your E-ZPass account at one of these locations.  Please bring your vehicle license plate numbers(s) and cash, check or a credit card.

The JFK I-95 E-ZPass Stop-in Center, located off MD 222 at One Turnpike Drive, operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through September.  Customers may also sign up for the Hatem Bridge plans at MDTAs other E-ZPass Stop-in Centers near Maryland toll facilities.

Note:  Please remember to properly mount your E-ZPass transponder.  Failure to properly mount the transponder may result in additional fees and unpaid toll transactions.  For instructions and additional information visit mdta.maryland.gov.

Dont Delay.  Get Your E-ZPass Today!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 14, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

EXPECT DELAYS WITH NEW TRAFFIC PATTERNS ON QUARANTINE ROAD OVER I-695
Resurfacing project begins on or about Aug. 20

BALTIMORE, MD - Necessary work to preserve and resurface the Quarantine Road bridge over I-695 just south of the Francis Scott Key Bridge will lead to travel delays and shifting traffic patterns beginning on or about Aug. 20.  The Quarantine Road bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction continuously for approximately five months.  The ramp from the INNER LOOP (westbound I-695) to Quarantine Road (Exit 1) also will be reduced from two lanes to one.

Traffic delays are anticipated in and around the work zone.  Currently, travel lanes on the Quarantine Road bridge consist of two 11-foot lanes in each direction; these travel lanes will be reduced to one 13-foot lane in each direction.  Concrete barrier walls will separate traffic from the work zone and opposing vehicles.  Temporary off-peak single-lane and shoulder closures on I-695 approaching Exit 1 may be needed.  No trucks over 11-feet wide will be permitted on the Quarantine Road bridge throughout the project, which is expected to end in December 2012.  

Construction includes removing the existing concrete deck surface and replacing it with a Latex Modified Concrete overlay, removing and replacing roadway joints and concrete barrier walls, installing drainage improvements, cleaning and painting structural steel, and performing miscellaneous structural repairs.

The nearly $3 million project is being performed by The Marksmen Company of Baltimore.  The Quarantine Road bridge over I-695 was constructed in 1972.  This is the first time the bridge has undergone this type of work.  A separate project, the I-695/Quarantine Road Interchange Improvement Project, was completed earlier this year.

Also expected to begin later this summer is a fatigue retrofit project to repair steel girders on the Curtis Creek Drawbridge (I-695) approach spans.  The current deck replacement project on the Curtis Creek Drawbridge is nearing completion.

Portable and overhead electronic message signs will display closure and/or detour information.  For information on the MDTA’s other facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  Follow TheMDTA on Twitter.  For statewide travel conditions, visit MD511.ORG or call 511.  The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!

Additional Information: