Getting to the other side

Hollywood, MD - The topic of a third crossing for the Chesapeake Bay is still very much alive. In fact, the Maryland Transportation Authority is conducting a survey to determine, not only where a new crossing should be, but how. The deadline for submitting the findings is 2020. Since the Chesapeake is a wide body of water to cross, those areas where east comes closest to meeting west are grabbing the most attention. That would put shorelines in Calvert and St. Mary’s in the discussion area.
Longtime Southern Maryland residents are aware that his subject has been discussed before. While many of the figures who supported and objected to the original overtures of a connection in Southern Maryland have passed away, a new generation appears poised to continue the debate.

While humans have shown amazing ingenuity in building large impressive spans across the waterways, the access points truly pose the greatest obstacles. The volumes of traffic on both Route 2/4 and Route 5 (and Route 235) are already pretty high—not only on workdays but on weekends as well. This is especially true during “beach season.” Both Calvert and St. Mary’s rely on those weekend visitors aiming to go fishing or boating. Point Lookout also stays busy. While Southern Maryland—even all three counties combined—doesn’t come close to approaching the high volume of visitors to Ocean City, our region should not serve as a desperation option for motorists who aren’t prepared to wait their turns accessing the spans connecting Anne Arundel County with Kent Island.

Back in the 1980s the late Tom Rymer—who served in the House of Delegates prior to being appointed a Circuit Court judge—wrote a letter to the editors of Calvert’s local newspapers denouncing the discussion of making the county the crossing point for a third bridge. It was the thought of paralyzing traffic and volumes of trash from out-of-county motor vehicles that prompted Rymer and others to declare the next bay bridge would not be welcome in Calvert. An entrepreneur who tried to sell Southern Calvert residents on his idea to establish a ferry service with Calvert as the Western Shore’s loading and unloading point received an extremely unfriendly reception when he presented his idea during the mid-1990s.

The cost of another bay bridge would be astronomical. It’s hard to envision any economic benefit to Southern Maryland if it were built here. Residents would be wise to let state transportation officials, local lawmakers, county officials and statewide candidates know how you feel about this issue. The year 2020 is coming sooner than you think. If you have a creative solution that could address the yen to get from one side of the bay to the other, forward it to these same people.

The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of management.

Contact Marty Madden at

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