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Maryland officials offer tips for Labor Day travel

Holiday travelers make their way over their way over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. (The Washington Post)
Holiday travelers make their way over their way over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. (The Washington Post)

Ah, Labor Day weekend — one last three-day weekend to enjoy before we’re all back to school, back at work and wondering why Halloween decorations are already on store shelves.

Lots of folks will likely be traveling this weekend, which means — traffic. The Maryland Transportation Authority is predicting only a 2 percent increase in traffic volume over last Labor Day weekend — but if you’re out on the road even a small increase in traffic volume can make a difference.

Here are some of MDTA’s predictions for the number of vehicles expected to travel through its toll facility between Friday, Aug. 29, and Monday, Sept. 1. Note: the total represent traffic in both directions.

  • On the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) — officials expect more than 347,000 vehicles.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) — more than 453,000 vehicles.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) — more than 452,000 vehicles.

MTS officials expect an additional 573,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined.

If you have some flexibility in your schedule, the MDTA has some suggestions for the best times to travel.

For beach goers — the best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend are:

Thursday — before noon and after 10 p.m.

Friday — before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Saturday — before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Sunday — before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Labor Day Monday — before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

Note: you can call  1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for Bay Bridge traffic conditions. You can also visit to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for e-mail alerts. MDTA also is on Twitter @TheMDTA


Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.



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