Bay Bridge safer than most highways, officials say

Photo: Garyhymes via Flickr

A recent crash sent a woman's car off the Bay Bridge and plunging into the water below, but Maryland transportation officials continue to assure the bridge is safe, The Capital Gazette reports.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the July 19 crash in which a tractor trailer struck two vehicles, sending Morgan Lake's car over the side. She was able to swim to safety.

The crash has many drivers on edge and skeptical about the bridge's safety, but officials say the bridge sees fewer accidents than most state highways.

The bridge's eastbound barriers are about 36 inches high, while the westbound barriers are 46 inches high. Officials say they meet the federal height requirements.

Doug Hutcheson, the Maryland Transportation Authority's chief engineer, tells The Capital there are no plans to make the eastbound barriers higher.

The barriers of the bridge, which was last inspected in May, are designed to deflect vehicles.

Officials say the last time a vehicle fell off the bridge was in 2008. Since then, 100 million vehicles have crossed the bridge.

READ MORE: The Capital Gazette