Obey Lane Signals: Chesapeake Bay Bridge

This is our entry in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Signs.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge (“William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge”) crosses the Chesapeake Bay to connect Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore with the urban Western Shore. With a shore-to-shore length of over four miles and a vertical clearance of 186 feet, this dual-span toll bridge provides a unique view of the beautiful Chesapeake.  The eastern (original) span is a two-lane roadway, while the newer western span has three lanes, with one lane reversing direction during heavy eastbound traffic.  The traffic capacity is 1500 vehicles per hour for each of the five lanes.  The actual traffic volume for the entire year of 2017 was 27.2 million vehicles.  The bridge is used heavily by residents of  the metropolitan areas of Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington, D.C., who create a huge demand during the summer: eastbound on Fridays to the beaches of the Eastern Shore and westbound back home on Sunday.

According to one source, this bridge has been ranked as the third scariest bridge in the U.S. to drive and the 10th scariest in the world.  There are no shoulders or pull-offs on the bridge, and no stopping.  An accident or a driver too afraid to continue (e.g., with a fear of heights) can snarl traffic for hours.  For a fee ($35 during business hours, addition fees at other times), a 24/7 Bay Bridge drive-over service can provide a driver to get your car across the bridge while you try to relax as a passenger.

The photo below was taken from the middle lane of the westbound span.  The left-most lane changes direction during heavy eastbound demand.

This photo was taken on September 5, 2019. Specs are:

Canon 200D, ISO 100, f/8, 1/500 sec, 35 mm.

 

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