FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 1, 2015

 

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 2% increase in traffic volumes compared to last year.

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, Sept. 4, and Monday, Sept. 7:

  • William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) - more than 354,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - more than 448,000.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) - more than 429,000.

An additional 574,000 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 the Eastern Shore. 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 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 - view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways at mdta.maryland.gov. Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.
  • For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.

· I-95 Now Has a Shortcut - I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) between White Marsh and I-895 in Baltimore.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA's priority this holiday weekend. 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. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.

I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel: Major roadwork is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Expect reduced lane widths and lane shifts along I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel and Caton Avenue (Exit 50). Current traffic patterns and project details are available at i95bmore.com or use #i95bmore on Twitter. 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:

·         Pay attention to lane markings and rumble strips on the Bay Bridge’s 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.

· Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.

· 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.

· Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.

· Avoid changing 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 or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.

MDTA offices will be closed on Monday, Sept. 7, 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.

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!

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