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Old 12-22-2015, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Yes, wetlands will always be there. What has changed is how you deal with them, the cost has skyrocketed.

When I grew up in Florida, what are now called "wetlands" were called "swamps," and the way to deal with them was to drain them and turn them into land that was conducive to human usage. Not saying that this was the right thing to do, but I do think that we need to find a middle ground between destroying them and treating them as if they were practically Holy Ground.
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Old 12-22-2015, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
I don't know the traffic patterns exactly, but I assume that Ocean City is the main beach destination, followed by the Delaware beaches. So there's a natural tendency for traffic to flow towards the southeast, from the main population centers (Baltimore, Washington, Southern Maryland) towards those beach areas. Thus, people from Washington and points south would not be as likely to use a Bowleys Quarters crossing as they would the existing one or one from Calvert.


Not to say that there shouldn't be one from Bowleys, but that's one that could probably be handled with a two-lane bridge. Still, it would help disperse the traffic, even if only somewhat.


As for millennials, they might be driving less per capita, but the overall population numbers continue to grow. So I still think we'll need these expanded capacities in the future. Wetlands will always be with us, but I don't think we do the environment any favors if we limit our travel options and thus waste more fuel (due to increasing congestion) and increase pollution.
Bowleys Quarters wold reduce the load from Baltimore County, possibly Howard and Carroll county headed to Ocean City. It would also take traffic headed to Bethany and Rehobath as well as folks who come down I-70 from further west.

I would say that it should be made as a 3 lane bridge with the structural capacity to add a second deck in the future.

I was also thinking about a crossing from I-695 at Edgemere across to Tolchester Beach (maybe via Hart Miller Island). A little longer over water crossing but doable with modern materials and methods
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Upper Marlboro
789 posts, read 989,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
Holy Ground.
Honestly though as far as the health of the Chesapeake Bay is concerned, they really are holy grounds of sorts for the environment.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:18 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seanlax View Post
Honestly though as far as the health of the Chesapeake Bay is concerned, they really are holy grounds of sorts for the environment.

That's part of it but also includes the fact that wetlands disappearance is directly related to shore erosion and flooding.


Up until a few years ago the fix was armoring with stone. That's changed to what's called a living shoreline which, to an extent, recreates the missing wetland.


NOAA Habitat Conservation | Restoration Center | Restoration Techniques and Monitoring | Living Shorelines


We just completed one a few months ago. They estimated 10000 plants, the total was 70000.


Environmental Concern Awarded Living Shoreline Project in Calvert
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:19 AM
 
478 posts, read 761,322 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
When I grew up in Florida, what are now called "wetlands" were called "swamps," and the way to deal with them was to drain them and turn them into land that was conducive to human usage. Not saying that this was the right thing to do, but I do think that we need to find a middle ground between destroying them and treating them as if they were practically Holy Ground.
I'd argue that we've moved in a better direction than the old ways, but haven't yet come close enough to that middle ground. Different lands have different ecological values. There is the traditional sense of species conservation plus habitat for wildlife. There is also the sense of pollution/runoff control, stormwater management, etc.

Wetlands in Maryland have vastly more overall value than almost any other land type we have in the state, ecologically. They help keep our bays & rivers clean, help protect areas farther inland from coastal floods and storms, and in a bigger picture sense are our best per-acre contribution to carbon sequestration: NOAA Habitat Conservation | Coastal Blue Carbon. This doesn't even get into their concentration of endemic species and importance for the health of our overall ecosystems.

Unfortunately, alot of our land use planning was done when land seemed abundant. Vast suburbs in central Maryland have destroyed thousands of acres of what could be outstandingly productive farmland, for example. Not sure what the solution to this is now that it's already happened-alot of our nation's farmland in places like western Nebraska/Kansas is at risk in the coming years as aquifers dry up, and we could really use the more productive lands in Maryland. The productivity per acre here is much greater, and will remain so even without irrigation.

It's important though, if we want to build a smarter infrastructure, that we prioritize long-term development in ways that put lands to their best use, and in almost all cases, if we're going to preserve anything at all in this state, ecologically, it should be our wetlands.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa!
7,785 posts, read 5,647,064 times
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I feel that a Calvert/Dorchester crossing would only make sense as a part of a larger project to construct an eastern bypass from the Bowling Green/Richmond, VA area to Northern Delaware. Limit the number of interchanges and make it a toll road. No interchanges to be made anywhere near wetlands to negate the possibility of development in wetland areas.

The entire cost of such a project would be immense, but it would definitely be the most forward thinking solution to handle the traffic in the Mid Atlantic region.

The Nice Bridge would have to be replaced and a new bridge would have to be built over the Patuxent. During construction there would be some short term environmental concerns, but if designed properly, the environment would respond over the long term.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:37 PM
 
794 posts, read 756,685 times
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I don't think any other crossings other than the current Bay Bridge area would even be considered by the powers that be. The spread and sprawl of Balt/DC/Annapolis is focused squarely on K.I and points East towards Easton. I think that's what this is really about, not so much OC traffic.

Annapolis and AA country are basically spilling over onto Kent Island and heading Eastward. They want the growth, but have the problem of the bridge. It really isn't going to change no matter what for years and years, and the problem is that you can throw up 15 Chipotle's and a row after row of styrofoam condos/townhouses/McMansions in just a couple of years (which is what is happening already on areas near the Bay Bridge).

For OC traffic, I would support a high speed rail of some sort to shuttle folks to OC and back. OC is getting to the point where the traffic is too much to bear during the worst/peak times, so if you build another bridge you're going to have to deal with that as well. It's all connected. A high speed rail that tunnels under the bay rather than over it, and enhanced local public transportation seems like it might make sense. As for the sprawl towards KI and points east, what's needed there is a dose of reality and some actual city planning. You can't just continue to build when you have the bottle neck of the Bay Bridge staring at you. The reality might just be that KI and points east aren't a viable option to plop down DC workers/MD residents and their families en masse.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Crofton, MD
103 posts, read 270,352 times
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They should just build a new bridge, somewhere in southern maryland maybe.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:06 PM
 
443 posts, read 728,338 times
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Years ago, when Agnew was governor, they talked about an upper bay crossing. Seems to me there was a referendum on the question of a parallel crossing vs. the upper bay crossing. Voters favored the upper bay but Agnew went ahead with the parallel bridge anyway. As far as container ships go I have to wonder if the Panamax ships will even come up the bay when there are alternatives in Norfolk, Savannah, Miami, New York, etc.
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Old 01-04-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
14,281 posts, read 8,195,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubyaM View Post
As far as container ships go I have to wonder if the Panamax ships will even come up the bay when there are alternatives in Norfolk, Savannah, Miami, New York, etc.
The advantage that the Port of Baltimore has over the other ones you've mentioned (except maybe New York) is the convenient land access (road and rail) from the port out to the Midwest, in addition to the north-south areas along the Northeast Corridor.
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