Chesapeake Bay Bridge, a way to cross the bay

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay Bridge

This road 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 southern on the same road.

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 located 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 connection, the bridge becomes a bottleneck, causing traffic congestion. This is especially true during peak hours, holidays, and the summer season.

You can locate the road on the map below:

Enlarge the map

General info about Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

How long is the bridge ?

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a dual-span steel structure that spans a distance of 7 kilometers (4.3 miles). It reaches a height of 57 meters (185 feet) at its highest point, allowing for cargo and ships to pass beneath it. The highest span of the bridge reaches 115 meters (380 feet).

Also, crossing the bridge requires a toll fee of $4.

Why is it called the Chesapeake Bay Bridge?

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge official name is Governor William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge. However, it is commonly referred to as the “Bay Bridge” by locals. The bridge bears the name of Governor William Preston Lane Junior. He served as the 49th Governor of Maryland from 1947 to 1951 and was instrumental in the planning and construction of the bridge.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Chesapeake Bay Bridge

When was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge built ?

The original cantilever girder bridge 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.

A second bridge opened in 1973 to relieve traffic congestion in response to the increase in traffic. Currently, the bridge can handle both eastbound traffic on the old road and westbound traffic on the new bridge.

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 D.C. 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 is in Japan or the Pamban Bridge is 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 this road 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 closes when winds hit 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’re planning a road trip on the East Coast, be sure to include a drive over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Although the views of the Chesapeake Bay are truly breathtaking, it is best to schedule your trip on a day with little wind to prevent any driving issue.

Pictures credits: By Ben Schumin – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, / Par Thisisbossi on WikimediaAndrew Bossi on Flickr — originally posted to Flickr as [1], CC BY-SA 2.0,

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