Should Maryland build a third Bay bridge crossing?

Should Maryland build a third Bay bridge crossing?

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WBFF) - Should Marylanders have another way to get across the Chesapeake Bay?

The Maryland Transportation Authority, which runs the Bay Bridge, has been looking into the feasibility of building a third span to cross the Bay.

The $5 million Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study has been working to identify "current and traffic demand across the Chesapeake Bay," according to its website.

The MDTA received hundreds of comments during its feedback period of the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study. The public comment period ran through December 2017.

The study does include a "no-build" option, and some community and environmental groups are opposing the idea of a new bridge.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation said in a letter to MDTA that many population and traffic projections have fallen since studies done in 2004 and 2006.

"The dramatic reduction in growth on the Eastern Shore calls into question the applicability of traffic projections from these early studies," wrote the CBF.

The group also warns about possible environmental impacts from such a project.

Kent Conservation & Preservation Alliance, a nonprofit based in Chestertown, also wrote on its website that such a crossing "is a 20th century solution for a 21st century transportation and growth future. No new bridge should cross the bay and certainly no bridge should terminate in Kent County."

"A third span will only encourage more commuting and extend sprawl to the open lands of the Eastern Shore, looping back to a congested future," warned the Alliance. "Don’t destroy prime farmland, open space and historic towns replacing them with expensive new infrastructure to support cul-de-sac bedroom communities."

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