NEWS RELEASE

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO THIS JULY 4TH WEEKEND

Significant Travel Volumes Expected this Holiday Weekend; 5-1-1 Offers Free, Live Travel Conditions

(June 29, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is urging motorists to plan ahead and make smart travel decisions this Fourth of July weekend.  MDOT SHA is suspending all non-emergency lane closures beginning Friday afternoon, June 30 until 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 5.

“Steady gas prices and a climbing economy means Marylanders will hit the road in every direction for the Independence Day holiday,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. "Please plan ahead and be alert to stay safe during your travels.  Incidents play a big role in congestion and we need everyone to do their part.  MDOT SHA patrols will be out 24/7 to assist drivers in emergencies and reduce traffic impacts.”

MDOT SHA offers real-time travel conditions and access to live traffic camera views on www.md511.org.  While on the road, from a hands-free device, call 5-1-1, Maryland’s free commuter tool.  Once connected, simply say “Reach the Beach” and drivers will be delivered timely updates on routes east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.  The same mechanism is available from points east to the Bay Bridge.  To find out how long the wait is at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, the Maryland Department of Transportation Authority’s (MDTA) 1-877-BAY-SPAN (229-7726) offers precise wait times and other critical information.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend.  Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

• Thursday (today) – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

• Friday – before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
• Saturday – before 6 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

• Sunday– before 8 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
• Monday– before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

• Tuesday, 4th of July - before 9 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
 
Additionally, MDOT SHA will deploy extra Coordinated Highway Action Response Team (CHART) crews to assist disabled motorists and clear vehicles, remove debris and to manage traffic during crashes and incidents.

MDOT SHA is urging motorists to check their vehicles before hitting the highway.  Check tires for proper traction and pressure and look for damage.  Check belts and hoses for excess wear and replace coolant hoses if there is a leak.  A quick inspection of the vehicle can help reduce the likelihood of a breakdown and will help MDOT SHA keeps lanes free and clear.

Motorists are reminded that, should they get into a minor crash with no injuries, to “Move It” to a safe location out of the travel lanes to exchange insurance and contact information.  This helps reduce congestion and improve safety on the roads.
MDOT SHA also provides the following tips to keep travelers safe during the holiday weekend:

• Buckle up! It’s the law. All seats, all the time – yes, even the backseat;

• Don’t drive after drinking. Designate a sober driver;
• Park the cell phone and mobile device and pay close attention to the road ahead;

• Look Up, Look Out. Watch and stop for pedestrians.  Give bicyclists three feet when passing;

• Get plenty of rest before hitting the road; and

• Travel at the posted speed limit.
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