Pictured: An aircraft carrier passes through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Ridership on the bridge dropped slightly last year. Photo from CBBT website.

By Ted Shockley

 

The highway may have felt crowded last summer, but traffic numbers on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel actually dropped slightly in 2018.

Still, there was plenty of ridership on the 17.6-mile span connecting the Eastern Shore with Hampton Roads.

In all, more than 3.93 million vehicles last year paid to travel the bridge, according to Tom Anderson, deputy executive director of finance and operations.

That was down about 68,000 vehicles from 2017, when the bridge-tunnel set a record with more than 3.99 million paid crossings.

The bridge has never broken the 4 million paid ridership mark.

The busiest two days were no surprise. Saturday, Aug. 18 saw 25,593 vehicles cross. The second-busiest day was Saturday, Aug. 11, when 25,321 vehicles crossed.

“That’s pretty typical,” Anderson said. “The second and third Saturdays of August are the busiest days each year.”

The bridge earlier this month instituted its first toll increase in five years, raising peak-season fares $2, to $18, and off-peak fares $1, to $14. Off-peak 24-hour return trips also increased $1, to $6.