MDTA sets online crossing talk
CHESTERTOWN — The Maryland Transportation Authority will host an online meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, discussing the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study.
The meeting will include a presentation on the project, information on the study area and a schedule — with ballpark dates for the publishing of findings.
Scheduled to present are members of the MDTA’s project team and Executive Director Kevin Reigrut. They will be speaking briefly about project specifics and completion time.
The general purpose of the $5 million study is to find route alternatives to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, in addition to financial feasibility and en- vironmental impact of construction.
Researchers will be analyzing a broad 100-mile area of the Chesapeake Bay — spanning from Havre de Grace to the Virginia line. The process will include scoping, traffic analysis and purpose and need development along the Eastern Shore.
The earliest findings to be published will come fall 2019. The study is estimated for completion the following year.
The topic has been highly debated among residents and officials in Kent County who are concerned about any idea of a Bay crossing coming to the county. Before the current Bay Bridge was built, Kent County was eyed for a potential crossing.
Del. Jay Jacobs, R-36-Kent and a member of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, re- mains opposed to the idea of a third Bay Bridge in Kent County. Jacobs spoke briefly at an annual Kent County Chamber of Commerce legislative meeting in January, saying such a proposal made “no sense.”
He reiterated his concerns in a phone interview Oct. 31.
“I think it would dramatically change life on the Eastern Shore as we’ve become accustomed to,” Jacobs said. “People come here to retire, for the waterfront. The construction may change that way of life.”
Jacobs, a former mayor of Rock Hall, has been in favor of less invasive modes of transportation for the Shore, including fast-paced ferries. These plans essentially fell apart during their conception in 2008, running parallel with the recession, he said.