The William Preston Lane,Jr. Memorial Bridge, located in the U.S. state of Maryland spanning the Chesapeake Bay, is one of the most spectacular bridges in the world. The area is subject to violent storms, which makes driving the bridge particularly perilous.
What wind speed is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge closed?
The bridge opened in 1952 and has taxed the nerves of more than a few motorists. Imposing with its dual-span 200-foot-high road deck and 22,790-foot length, the bridge becomes a truly treacherous drive during storms. When bad weather hits, which is often, drivers can barely see the shore when they get to the middle. The structure is regularly subject to violent storms and instills fear in thousands of Baltimore and Washington residents every time they cross it. It also has tall ships that pass beneath it and flimsy-looking guardrails that reveal a vertigo-inducing drop to the choppy waters below. The bridge is closed to all traffic when winds exceed 55 mph.
The Maryland Transportation Authority offers arrangements through private companies to help anxious motorists drive over the bridge for a fee. Drivers are notoriously afraid of this bridge, as it’s subjected to frequent—and often violent—storms. And when the bad weather hits, forget about visibility: get to the middle of this five-mile-long bridge and you can barely see land. Crossing the bridge is quite an endeavor, even when the weather is fine. First, drivers have to tackle a disconcerting comes a dogleg curve, then travel up a steep incline over the initial suspension span; then the bridge drops and the motorist drives downhill and over a second span, a cantilever with boxy sides and a roof that feels like a claustrophobic tunnel.