A man looks out over the Chesapeake Bay, with the Bay Bridge in the background, at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Md., on Wednesday, May 12, 2010. (Jacquelyn Martin/Associated Press)

About two hours later, another traffic stop will occur as the cranes pass under the Key Bridge along I-695 in Baltimore. The cranes, 14-stories tall, were built in China and are destined for the Seagirt Marine Terminal, just west of the Key Bridge.

If you want to watch the cranes come under the Bay Bridge, you could drive to Sandy Point State Park, on the west side of the Bay off Routes 301 and 50. But what you definitely don’t want to do is get caught in stopped traffic approaching the bridge when it gets shut at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday for 40 minutes.

Traffic will be held to avoid rubbernecking and potential accidents, said John C. Sales, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.

“We’re doing it because we don’t want drivers to be distracted by the sight of this large vessel with the cranes passing underneath,” Sales said.

The traffic on the Key Bridge will be held for about 20 minutes starting at 3:15 p.m., if the schedule holds.

This operation is far from routine in the Chesapeake Bay, so be ready for some change in the timetable.

Electronic message signs warning drivers about the traffic stop will be put into place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sales said. They’re also posting the information on the authority’s site and BayBridge.com.

Eastern Shore paving

If you happen to be heading out to the Eastern Shore, lucky you, but once you get past the traffic stop on the bridge, watch out for this:

The Maryland State Highway Administration is paving a mile and a half of eastbound Route 50 from Rockawalkin Road to the western end of the Salisbury Bypass in Wicomico County. The work is scheduled to be done by the end of the month.

Crews will close a single lane as needed Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., but they won’t work on Fridays because of the heavy summer traffic.