If you're heading to Ocean City on Friday for the (sort of) holiday weekend, you'll want to carefully plan the time you'll cross the Bay Bridge onto the Eastern Shore.
Because of two military convoys expected to arrive at the eastbound span at two different times on June 29, Maryland Transportation Authority officials are expecting high traffic conditions that could significantly impact traffic flow for motorists.
The first convoy of about 27 vehicles is expected to arrive at the eastbound toll booths at about 12 noon, according to a statement from the department.
The second group of about 61 vehicles is expected to arrive at about 1 p.m.
Officials will direct the groups to the far right side of the toll plaza, according to the statement.
Weather permitting, transportation authority officials will implement two-way traffic operations on the westbound span to help alleviate delays.
Motorists are also encouraged to travel during off-peak hours this weekend and any summer weekend. Off-peak times are defined as before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m. on Saturday and before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m. on Sunday.
So far this summer season, weekend traffic to and from the Eastern Shore has been "very busy," officials said.
Mid-day traffic returning from the beach on Sundays has caused backups along the Rt. 50/301 corridor.
Motorists should expect major delays when traveling during peak hours, officials said.
Transportation officials offer the following tips to make the trip to and from the shore as smooth as possible:
- Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) for 24/7 traffic conditions at the bridge.
- Visit baybridge.com to view live traffic cameras at the bridge and to sign up for traffic and email alerts.
- Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
- Stay alert—do not change lanes or "sightsee" while traveling over the bridge.
- Make sure your vehicle is "road ready"—one disabled vehicle can cause extensive backups.
- If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
- For statewide traffic conditions, visit 511md.org.