ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Along with steam engine cars and rotary phones, the toll booths at the Bay Bridge will soon be history.
Governor Larry Hogan came to take a look the bridge revitalization project. Re-decking started this summer and huge backups that hurt east and west bound bridge travelers followed.
Governor Hogan stepped in and ordered around the clock work and for the Transportation Department to find ways to speed up this two year project.
"This project will be completed a full year ahead of schedule," said Hogan.
That will make a lot of people happy, like 27 million a year. That's how many cross the bridge annually.
1,500 vehicles per lane, per hour is the daily tally for the 4.3 mile bridge. Along with the 24 work crews, not stopping over the Thanksgiving break helped tremendously. It would have interrupted 4 to 6 weeks of work to breakdown and reset the operation.
Jim Ports is the Director of the MD Transportation Authority that oversees the project.
"We're 54 percent complete with the latex modified concrete," said Ports.
Taking the toll booths out will allow the state to widen the lanes going into the bridge and traffic will not have to slow down to pay. If you don't have an EZPASS sensor, a picture will be taken of your license plate and you will receive a bill in the mail.
The project is expected to be complete sometime this summer. The better the weather, the quicker the project is finished.
"The bridges are still out dated and we got to look at long term solutions. But, it's certainly going to be a lot safer and we're gonna get it done a lot faster and this temporary problem is going to be fixed."
After they finish tearing down the toll booths on the western side of the bay bridge, the new EZPASS readers will be on the other side, the eastern shore side, of the Bay Bridge.