ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says for safety reasons, he cannot delay the current Bay Bridge Deck Rehabilitation Project on the right lane of the westbound span of the bridge.
During Wednesday's Board of Public Works Meeting, Hogan said he's furious about severe traffic backups the work has caused, but said any further delay could cost taxpayers eight times more and take five years longer to finish.
Hogan's remarks came less than two weeks after his fellow Public Works Board member and State Comptroller, Peter Franchot called for the project to be halted.
According to Hogan, the Bay Bridge was never designed for the high level of traffic that crosses daily, and repairs have been deferred for the past decade.
One section of the right lane on the westbound side Hogan says is 75 percent patched up and deteriorated while the rest of the lane is deteriorated 50 percent.
Calling one Anne Arundel County elected official's proposal to build a ferry system, "fantasy" and "impractical", Hogan says there is no positive solution to the problem.
But in the meantime, Hogan says he's ordered the project be completed as fast as possible.
To do that, Hogan says he wants coordination between Anne Arundel and Queen Anne's Counties to insure traffic flow is even on both sides of the bridge, considering the large population difference between the two.
Hogan says that he's pushing for contractors to work on the project around the clock and to look at the possibility of using faster drying concrete.
The Governor also ordered the Maryland Department of Transportation to explore ways to quickly eliminate toll booths on the bridge, and implement full time cashless tolling.
As of now the right side westbound lane is scheduled to remain closed through April 2020.