The Bay Bridge - Gateway from Annapolis to the Eastern Shore

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate SL3277959

The Bay Bridge - Gateway from Annapolis to the Eastern Shore

The William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge is the gateway route identified as US-50 and MD-301 from points West including Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Washington DC, and Virginia to reach the Eastern Shore and Atlantic Ocean beaches along the Maryland and Delaware coasts.

William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge

Operated by the Maryland Transportation Authority, the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge is actually two bridges in one.  There is an East-bound two lane bridge and a West-bound three lane bridge.  During peak travel times the single lane on the Southern (right hand lane) side of the West-bound bridge is opened for East-bound travel.  Typically this lane is open for the evening commute across the bridge and from time-to-time when maintenance and other reasons necessitate a closing of one of the lanes on the East-bound bridge.

William Preston Lane Jr Memorial Bay Bridge

If you have an E-ZPass you can shorten your time to pass the toll which is only charged to East-bound travelers.  Although considered a "round trip", the cost is currently $2.50 for two-axle vehicles and goes up from there.  If you're a regular commuter across the bridge, then you should be enrolled for a commuter discount that reduces your round trip fee to $1.00.  Current toll rates are posted on the Maryland Transportation Authority website.

Proposed Toll Increase Coming Soon

There's a proposed toll increase coming soon to the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bay Bridge.  On June 2nd, the Maryland Transportation Authority posted a notice of phased in toll increases in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  There's a sixty-day period of public comment with open meetings to be held in various locations throughout Maryland.  The most recent public hearing was held on June 15, 2011 in Stevensville, Maryland.

The Maryland Transportation Authority proposes to increase the tolls for passenger cars on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from $2.50 to $5 starting October 1, 2011.  And, to keep increasing it until it reaches $8 in July of 2013.  Commuters on the E-ZPass discount plan would see a $0.50 increase from $1.00 per East-bound trip to $1.50 per trip across the bay.  Other Maryland Transportation Authority operated toll roads are slated for increases as well including the Harbor Tunnel, the Fort McHenry Tunnel and the Key Bridge.

Information on the proposed toll increases by the Maryland Transportation Authority can be found in their Notice for Public Comment Handout.  The handout includes the dates and locations for public hearings.  It states that the public may submit comments for the official record by 5 p.m. on August 1, 2011, by visiting; writing to MDTA Toll Comment, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD, 21224; or attending one of the public hearings.

Maryland Residents Are Angered Over Toll Increases

As the public hearings continue, residents throughout Maryland are angered over the proposed toll increases.  The Monday, June 20, 2011 public hearing held at the Severn River Middle School, as reported in The Capital, Anne Arundel County citizens felt that the increases were a "done deal".   For commuters that have to traverse the Bay Bridge daily, this is just one more increase in expenses while wages fail to keep pace.  Add the increase to the Bay Bridge toll to higher gasoline prices and you get a costly mix for daily commuters from the Eastern Shore.  For commuters living on the Eastern Shore and working along the metro Washington and Baltimore corridor, there are no options to take a different toll free route.  Along other routes with bridge and tunnel tolls, there are local toll free routes that take more time but avoid toll booths.  Not so on the Bay Bridge.

UPDATE: Maryland Transportation Authority to Reconsider Proposed Toll Hikes

In an article published in the Capital newspaper on July 27, 2011, the State of Maryland has said it is reconsidering the Bay Bridge proposed toll hikes.  The voice of local residents in Stevensville Maryland on Kent Island and points East may not have been enough to put a stop to the increases, but, the locally operating trucking companies may have the loudest voice yet.

During yesterday's [July 26, 2011] hearing, trucking company representatives told the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee that increasing the tolls as originally planned could drive them out of business. They also said that shipping companies may start using Norfolk, Va., rather than the Port of Baltimore, to avoid the added expense of tolls.

While the final proposal to simply raise tolls at existing toll booths seems to be loosing steam, Maryland is going to have to make up the deficit somehow.  It's not fair that residents who have no alternative but to cross over the Bay Bridge will carry an a substantial portion of the fiscal burden for the rest of Maryland in order to cover the cost of repairs and improvements for all.

Related Blog Posts

Ghost Fleet at Anchor in Annapolis Maryland

Posted by

Stephen Howell, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Sarasota, FloridaIf you are interested in buying a home in Sarasota, Florida or the surrounding area and want to tour any property currently on the market, or if you have a home to sell in Sarasota, Florida and want a professional consultation on current market conditions, please contact Stephen Howell at 941-870-4141 or e-mail him at or visit his website at

Stephen Howell came to Sarasota to enjoy the Gulf Coast in 2013. What he discovered was a whole new lifestyle. Ever since Stephen Howell has been successfully helping others make the most of Sarasota. You'll find that with the right professional by your side, you can Live the lifestyle and live, work and play in Sarasota Florida.

Stephen Howell and Jackson (his hound-mix from the HSSC) live on the Gulf Coast in Sarasota, Florida. He works in the Sarasota real estate market. His website lets people search the Sarasota Florida area MLS. Buyers can also search for waterfront homes along the Gulf Coast and Intracoastal Waterway. His website has current real estate data on Sarasota, Florida.

 Connect with Stephen Howell on ActiveRain Connect with Stephen Howell on Twitter Connect with Stephen Howell on Facebook Connect with Stephen Howell on LinkedIn Connect with Stephen Howell on My Blog Connect with Stephen Howell on Tumblr
Know your nautical etiquette?
Then click the correct flag to connect with me socially!
(Hint: L-to-R ... Golf=Google+, Alpha=Activerain, Tango=Twitter,
Foxtrot=Facebook, Lima=LinkedIn, Romeo=Blog, Tango=Tumblr)


Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Cheryl Ritchie 06/19/2011 09:40 AM
  2. Brent Kluge 06/19/2011 09:47 AM
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the flag to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Real Estate General Information
Maryland Anne Arundel County Annapolis
bay bridge
us 50
md 301
maryland transportation authority

Comments 17 New Comment

Stephen Howell
Sarasota FL Homes For Sale 941-870-4141
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Christine, that's way cool!!!  He helped build an iconic structure that people marvel at every day!!!

Evelyn ... nope ... we didn't move "the bridge" ... we've got one here too!!!

Fernando ... I want to get the word out that the toll for the bridge is going up by 100% in October.  That's a pretty steep price increase.  While this is all happening pretty quietly without a lot of fan fair, could you imagine the outrage that would happen if suddenly the price of gas went up a 100% (from around $3.60 to suddenly $7.20)!!!

June 19, 2011 09:01 AM
Brent Kluge
ALL 50 STATES !! - 203k's DONE RIGHT!
Brent Kluge - FHA 203K - HomeStyle- JUMBO Reno Loan


What a GREAT post!  I love it!  I remember the backups on this bridge in the summertime, BEFORE air conditioning in cars.. no kidding.  The station wagon with the wood grain, the gas crisis, waiting in line, based on the last digit on your license plate, and on the way to the beach...  this bridge is a staple in Maryland living.  


We have a shore home in Cambridge near the Hyatt and cross the bridge regularly now, but we have figured out the traffic patterns thankfully, but love this bridge nonetheless!

Fantastic post!

June 19, 2011 09:45 AM
Susan Thompson-Solomons
MD Real Estate
The McNelis Group, LLC

The bay bridge is a beautiful connector to the MD shores - a gateway and an icon to Maryland living. Miserable about doubling the toll and more, though. A few years back they allowed pedestrians to walk the one bridge span once a year, I believe it was on a Sunday. Did that and it was great! We have our own bridge of notoriety here in Solomons - the H.G. Trueman Bridge.

June 19, 2011 09:06 PM
Stephen Howell
Sarasota FL Homes For Sale 941-870-4141
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

Brent ... My parents owned a Mercury Villager with imitation wood grain paneling on the sides.  For summer vacations we'd load up the car with all kinds of stuff and the family dog and we'd make the long trek North to Port Clyde Maine, crossing the Bay Bridge, then the Delaware Bridge and many other bridge and tunnels along the way.  Bridges and tunnels were always amazing to me as a kid - they still are as an adult.

Susan ... The MTA didn't host the annual Bay Bridge Walk this year "Due to ongoing cost-containment measures requiring the limiting of expenditures to core activities [...] in 2011."  It also state on the MTA website that they "will reevaluate this event and, if economic conditions permit, hopes to restore the event in 2012. We regret any inconvenience and appreciate the public's cooperation and understanding."  Maybe if we start paying $5 to transit the Bay Bridge, they'll reinstate the Bay Bridge Walk!!!

June 20, 2011 09:37 AM
Stephen Howell
Sarasota FL Homes For Sale 941-870-4141
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate

This morning in The Capital there was an article updating what's happening with the Bay Bridge toll increase.  In response to that article I posted the following comment:

"One way to annex the Eastern Shore is to make it so expensive that many people will think twice about living on the Eastern Shore and working, shopping, playing on the Western Shore.  Commuters with an EZPass on a commuter plan will pay less for a while, but, it's not a free ride.  Maryland could raise the income tax or the property tax and collect the same amount, but, instead the MTA has essentially by-passed everyone in an end-run to directly from collect the tolls for bridge travelers.  Most of the infrastructure improvements proposed to be paid for by the toll increase benefits many more people than those that pay tolls.  A precious few will pay the toll for all those that will benefit from the projects.  That seems pretty unfair to me."

It really seems to me that ALL Maryland residents should carry the burden fairly and that raising the toll for crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and other toll roads doesn't share the burden equally among all state residents.

July 17, 2011 09:03 AM

Stephen Howell

Sarasota FL Homes For Sale 941-870-4141
What would you like to know about Sarasota Florida?
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the airplane to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information

The Sarasota Florida Market Insights Report


The Siesta Key Condo Report


The Palmer Ranch Home Sales Report


Real Estate Market Assessment, Conditions, and Outlook for Sarasota Florida and the surrounding areas of Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Casey Key, and others.