As Hurricane Sandy approaches the mid-Atlantic, the Maryland Transportation Authority announced today that every effort will be made to keep its bridges and tunnels open during the storm, as long as conditions are safe for travelers.
Motorists crossing the Bay Bridge (US 50/301) and other bridges are reminded that bridge closures will occur when sustained wind speeds or wind gusts exceed 55 miles per hour. Anyone planning to travel from the Eastern Shore to the Western Shore to ride out the storm is encouraged to do so in advance of the severe weather reaching the area.
On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below:
• Wind warning (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts of 30 to 39 mph) – 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.
• Wind restriction I (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts of 40 to 49 mph) – 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.
• Wind restriction II (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts exceeding 50 mph) – 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 or wind gusts exceeding 55 mph) – 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 traffic across the bridge.
Follow the MDTA on Twitter @TheMDTA or go to facebook.com/TheMDTA and mdta.maryland.gov for the most up-to-date information. For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions, call BAYSPAN at 1-877-229-7726 or go to baybridge.com. For statewide travel conditions, go to md511.org or call 511.