Updated: Feb 8, 2019
The Bay Bridge Crossing Study is progressing, and new maps showing 14 possible crossings have been published. Four of those possible crossings are in Calvert County, with another proposed in St. Mary's that would drastically affect our traffic. The four proposed in Calvert are in Chesapeake Beach, Plum Point, St. Leonard, and Cove Point. Click here to view the full set of maps, each of which shows different features such as land use, environmentally sensitive areas, etc. which will be taken into account during the decision-making process. Note that the maps are labelled, "Draft" and "Pre-Decisional and Deliberative".
It isn't difficult for County residents to imagine what a huge impact a crossing anywhere in Calvert would have. Queen Anne's County, where traffic from the current Bay Bridge is most felt, sees an explosion of traffic in the summer - upwards of 118,000 daily trips on weekends, with six lanes of traffic along portions of MD 50. Queen Anne's becomes a divided County, with backups along the highway that can run for miles and local residents unable to go anywhere.
Similar to Calvert County, Queen Anne's Kent Island has only one main road in and one main road out.
We've just learned that the Planning Commission will be holding a public hearing on February 26, 2019 to consider adopting its recommended Comprehensive Plan. (The same day public and agency comments are due.) This is what the Plan says about a potential Bay Bridge crossing in Calvert County:
“Locating a bay crossing in Calvert County would result in a tremendous amount of pass-through traffic to MD 4. Constructing a bay crossing in Calvert would likely have a significant impact on the county’s rural character. If Calvert were to be chosen as the location for the next Chesapeake Bay bridge crossing, then the county’s long-range plans – the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation Plan would need to be redone to address the significant potential impacts.”
Keep Calvert County-Grow Responsibly believes the above language should be strengthened, as it fails to take a firm position against the bridge coming through Calvert County. This concern is just one of many we, along with numerous citizens, have expressed about the recommended Plan. Other concerns that have not been addressed include the removal of all growth control measures and expansion of several Town Centers without adequately evaluating the impact on roads, schools, and our environment, to name a few.
Now is the time to submit your comments to the Planning Commission and County Commissioners if you are worried about a new Bay Bridge Crossing going through Calvert County and/or if you believe other concerns have not been adequately addressed in the Plan.
Please share this information with your fellow citizens, as it will affect us all.