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Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a way to cross the bay.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay bridge

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a dual span bridge in the state of Maryland in the United States. It crosses the northern Chesapeake Bay and connects the rural eastern part of the bay with the western one which is more urbanized. It should not be confused with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which is located on the same road but southern.

The area is prone to severe storms, which can make crossing the bridge particularly dangerous.

Where is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge located?

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a toll bridge situated on the East Coast of the United States.

The bridge is part of US Route 50 (US 50) and US 301. As part of the US 50 cross country road, it connects the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area with Ocean City, Maryland, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and other coastal touristic cities.

Also, as part of US 301, it is part of an optional route for travelers on Interstate 95, between northern Delaware and the Washington DC area.

Due to this link, the bridge is occluded and become a point of traffic jam. That is even more true during rush hours, on holidays, and during the summer months.

You can situate the road on the map below:


Enlarge the map

Some information about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

Bridge characteristics:

The official name of the bridge is the Governor William Preston Lane Junior Memorial Bridge. Also, locals also just call it the “Bay Bridge”.

If you wonder what states in the Chesapeake Bay are watershed, here is the answer: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington D.C.

In fact, it is a dual span bridge made of steel. It is 7 kilometers long (4.3 miles), 57 meters (185 ft) high that allows cargo and ships to navigate below the bridge. We can add that the highest span is 115 meters (380 ft).

Also, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has a toll fee of 4$ to cross it.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay Bridge

History of the bridge

The original cantilever girder bridge was opened in 1952 and was 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) long. In fact, at that time it was the longest continuous structure over a body of water.

In connection with the increase in traffic in 1973, a second bridge was opened. The traffic to the east along the original bridge, and to the west, along with the new one.

Also, the bridge’s official name is William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, in honor of the Governor of Maryland who ordered the first bridge to be built.

How to get to Chesapeake Bay Bridge?

In order to get to the bridge, you have to follow US Route 50. For example, if you are coming from Baltimore or Washington DC area.

If you are coming from Philadelphia you can also take the US route 301 and take the US 50 in Queenstown.

This bridge is clearly one of the most scenic bridges in the country as the Eshima Ohashi Bridge in Japan or the Pamban Bridge in India.

You can easily find the itinerary of the drive on this map:

A preview of the drive:

Either if you are planning to drive the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or not, you should watch this video to have an idea of the drive:

Is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge open?

The bridge is open all year round. Nevertheless, the bridge is closed when winds are more than 90 kilometers (55 miles) per hour.

Because of its height, narrow spans, low railings, and frequent high winds, it is often referred to as one of the scariest bridges in the United States. Several weather disasters led to the complete closure of the bridge. Like the Overseas Highway this road may be subject to closures due to the weather.

Don’t forget to watch the road signs to have complete information about the Bay Bridge traffic. Also, remember that there is a toll fee on the bridge, you can use the bay bridge Fastrak if you cross the bridge regularly.


If you are driving on the East Coast you should drive through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. You will have an amazing view of the Chesapeake Bay but remember to choose a day without wind if you don’t want to have some driving issues!

Pictures credits: By Ben Schumin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12861243 / Par Thisisbossi on WikimediaAndrew Bossi on Flickr — originally posted to Flickr as [1], CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11389968


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