Bay Bridge: Best Times To Cross On Labor Day Weekend 2023


When are the best times to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on Labor​ Day weekend 2023? Patch has some traffic tips for those taking the Bay Bridge, which is pictured above near Annapolis. (Jacob Baumgart/Patch)

ANNAPOLIS, MD — If you want to beat the congestion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge this Labor Day weekend, you'll have to get up with the morning birds or drive with the night owls. Every Marylander knows if you wait too long, you could get caught in traffic jams for miles.

The Maryland Transportation Authority warned drivers to travel off-hours if they don't want to chance the traffic heading to the beach this holiday weekend.

Best Times To Cross

Labor Day is on Monday, Sept. 4. The best times to cross the Bay Bridge this weekend are:

  • Thursday, Aug. 31 – Before 2 p.m. and after 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 1 – Before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sept. 2 – Before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 3 – Before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Labor Day Monday, Sept. 4 – Before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 5 – Before 7 a.m. and after 10 a.m.

Officials expect heavy eastbound traffic Thursday through Sunday. They anticipate westbound congestion Saturday through Tuesday.

The MDTA estimated that more than 350,000 vehicles will cross the Bay Bridge between Friday and Monday.

If weather and traffic permit, the MDTA will open two-way operations to ease some of the traffic heading east. Wind, fog and rain could disrupt this plan, however.

Officials ask drivers to stay on U.S. Route 50 even if it is congested. This will keep local roads clear for first responders and residents.

Drivers may save some time on their trips to the Eastern Shore by taking the northern route, which covers more mileage while avoiding the Bay Bridge. Travelers can head up Interstate 95 north to Delaware and drive down Route 1 south to get to the beaches.

Traffic, Safety Tips

Drivers must pay attention to these overhead signals before, on and after the bridge:

  • RED X: Lane is closed. You MUST NOT enter or travel in any lane over which a RED X signal is shown.
  • YELLOW X: Prepare to vacate the lane beneath the YELLOW X signal and move to a lane with a DOWNWARD GREEN ARROW.
  • DOWNWARD GREEN ARROW: You can drive in the lane beneath the GREEN ARROW signal.

Here's how to check the traffic:

  • Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions. Any pressing travel updates will be posted on the MDTA's Twitter.
  • Visit to view traffic cameras and to sign up for email alerts.
  • Follow the MDTA on social media at TheMDTA and
  • Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit to enroll online and for a list of E-ZPass "On the Go" retail locations.
  • Know Before You Go - To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit or visit for statewide travel information. When you call 511, just say "Reach the Beach." The free phone call can eliminate some of the hassles of your road trip.
  • To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit

Along with delays, authorities will be on the lookout for risky behavior on the roads. Travelers can report aggressive drivers to the MDTA Police at 410-537-7911.

The MDTA also offered these safety tips:

  • Allow for extra time to get to your destination.
  • Adhere to speed limits. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of a crash.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Any activity that takes your focus away from the road ahead is a distraction.
  • NEVER drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. Impaired driving endangers your life and the lives of others.
  • Look twice for motorcycles, and remember that in Maryland, individuals may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless they wear a helmet that is certified to meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards.
  • Move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow, or amber flashing lights. It’s the law. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
  • Commercial vehicles must travel across the Bay Bridge in the right lane.
  • Secure your load in vehicles and trailers before traveling. Items that can shift, slide or fall onto the roadway can lead to serious vehicle crashes, especially on roads with no shoulders like bridges.
  • Make sure your vehicle is road ready. If your vehicle breaks down, exit the roadway. If that isn’t possible, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
More News from Annapolis
I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified