ICC or a New Bay Bridge?
For years, the bickering has gone back and forth over the construction of a so-called inter-county connector to help ease traffic in the Washington suburbs. Ironically, it’s the liberals in these areas crying about the environmental impact of such a project. Meanwhile, others disagree over how much relief a new highway would provide. After all, drivers can already take Rte. 28/198 East to go from Rockville to Laurel. From there, commuters can readily access to Rte. 1, 29, 95 or 295.
For those wishing to travel to and from the Eastern Shore, the options are limited. Of course, there’s the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Others options include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel 200 miles to the south or taking 1-95 North to Elkton and then returning south on Rte 1 through Delaware.
Sunday’s Bay Bridge accident highlighted the need for alternative means to travel this region. Face it, the current options besides the Bay Bridge are unfeasible. Clearly, the need for a new thoroughfare is upon us. There’s plenty of money sitting in the transportation trust fund. In turn, the pot continues to grow with the cost of fuel. Plus, toll revenue can offset any additional money that’s needed. Montgomery County residents don’t really seem to want a new highway in their neck of the woods. Why force an unnecessary project against their will?
Of course, I know residents of certain small towns on the Shore would object to a bridge coming through their town. Still unlike the inter-county connector, a there’s a glaring need for new bridge. Granted, the options are limited. It’s been discussed about having a road constructed between Baltimore and Kent County. To me, that doesn’t make as much sense as a new bridge somewhere in Calvert County connecting to a designated spot in South Dorchester County.
Such an idea would not only reduce traffic coming from the DC area, it could spawn off existing roads. With the proximity to Rte 2 in Calvert County and Rte 16 and Dorchester County, the local areas would likely see minimal impact. Admittedly though, both highways would probably have to be widened. That being said, I am sure some environmental wackos will invent some phony argument in a lame attempt to block such a project.
No matter what, something must be done quickly. The money is there. What about the political will?