The Chesapeake Bay Bridge, officially named the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge, crosses the Chesapeake Bay providing automobile access between Annapolis (Sandy Point) and the Maryland Eastern Shore (Stevensville). See a map of the Eastern Shore. The bridge spans 4.3 miles and has a capacity for 1,500 vehicles per lane, per hour. Annual traffic on the bridge is estimated to exceed 27 million vehicles.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1949-1952 under the leadership of Governor William Preston Lane, Jr. The two-lane original span, (which today carries eastbound traffic) cost $45 million and was, at the time, the world’s longest continuous over-water steel structure. The second span, (which currently carries westbound traffic) was completed in 1973 at a cost of $148 million. Portions of the westbound span are currently being redecked in order to preserve and extend the life of the bridge.
Best Times to Travel Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge:
- Thursday before 2 p.m.
- Friday before noon and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday before 7 a.m. and between 5 and 10 p.m.
- Sunday between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is operated by the Maryland Transportation Authority and is a member of the E-ZPass electronic-toll-collection system. Motorists who use E-ZPass save time and reduced vehicle emissions. For additional information about the E-ZPass Maryland program, visit www.ezpassmd.com.