The Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Invented by Satan, Because Driving Was Just Not Terrifying Enough

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Chesapeake Bay Bridge

My husband and I just celebrated our 10 year anniversary. Go us! To mark the occasion, we spent the weekend in a beautiful bed and breakfast on Kent Island. If you’ve never been, Maryland’s Eastern Shore is gorgeous. It’s home to several famous beaches, as well as a sprinkling of charming and quaint small towns where locals go to fish, crab, kayak, walk in untamed primeval forests, see a plethora of wildlife, pan for gold or ride a stage coach in an Old West Frontier town, walk in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman, and eat in some outstanding restaurants.

Unfortunately, this little corner of Maryland (that I am rather fond of) is…across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

For those of you unfamiliar with this Bridge of Doom, it is a nearly 5 mile long, 186 foot high steel death trap that connects central Maryland to the Eastern shore beach towns. From the middle of the bridge, you can barely see the shore on either side. And you can’t see it at all if you’ve got a blanket covering your head while a lone arm reaches out from underneath to clutch your rosary beads and pray out loud. I imagine it must be difficult for God to hear all those Hail Mary’s through the din of tortured souls screaming through the suspension cables and blowing my car off balance, so I shout my prayers, just to be safe.

You’re probably thinking, “Jeez, Nicole’s a baby. Just drive over the bridge and open your eyes for crying out loud!” Well, that’s probably true. But I’m not the only one. A company called Kent Island Express charges $30 a pop to drive 5,800 terrified travelers a year over the bridge, just so they won’t have to do it themselves. If I didn’t have Matt to drive me, I’d pay that $30 and not regret a single penny.

When it’s windy, which is pretty frequently since we’re so close to the shore, the bridge goes from just plain terrifying to holy-fuck-I-pissed-my-pants terrifying. I can’t even imagine driving a semi truck over that thing. They sway in the wind. Sometimes, they go over the side. Sometimes, some terrified prick who can’t drive because he’s trying not to look rear ends somebody, and then that car gets shoved over the side. In 2013, a woman’s car was flipped over when a semi-truck rear-ended her. She teetered on the edge of the bridge for seconds before plunging down into the murky, freezing cold water. She hit the water, unbuckled, climbed out, swam to a jetty, and survived! That’s what I call badass. Damn.

Fortunately, I’m happy to report that my husband and I survived the trip over the bridge and back again. We ate lots of crab, drank lots of wine, and bought some super cute sandals in one of the consignment shops. I suppose it was worth the year that the bridge took off of the end of my life. I hate the bridge, but I love the Eastern shore.

Do you have any summer travel plans? Not as terrifying as mine, I hope. Let me know in the comments. I love hearing from you!

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3 comments

  1. 5 miles long??? Urgh! I have enough trouble driving over the QE2 Bridge that connects Essex to Kent. I have an irrational fear that some unknown force will suddenly make me turn the wheel hard and drive off the bridge. I would also happily pay the $30 to cross your bridge. Or take a boat! Happy about your new (to you) sandals! ;-D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh me too!! I always think I’m going to go over the side! As a matter of fact, there HAVE been times when a car was shoved over the side by a large truck! Now how do you feel about tunnels? I have a cousin who who is so afraid that the tunnel will collapse and fill with water, she watches her odometer to see how far she’s gotten through so that she knows which end she’s closest to in case she needs to swim out.

      Like

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