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Old 10-06-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
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William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge, known as the Bay Bridge is terrifying

So I went to our first FROG Rally in Williamsburg VA. Still here. Great first rally, great group of folks. On the way here, had to cross Chesapeake Bay via the Bay Bridge, Rt. 301/50. Towed my rig in left lane at just over 50 mph, as middle lane seemed to be going quite slow. Now I know why. Traveling in outer left lane of this bridge, with no shoulder, and a flimsy guardrail, and nothing but view of water FAR below you from the driver's seat, is not for the light of heart.

I am no sissy. I used to jump off buildings rappelling as a younger man. I have a healthy fear of heights, but nothing irrational or paralyzing. Somehow, the view of the span of bridge in the opposite direction, seeing how insanely high it was above the water, and the feeling of riding on the edge of the bridge at high speed with apparently nothing between you and impending death invoked a horrible vertigo-like feeling. I've never had a panic attack before, but I think I may have gotten a taste. Finally moving over to the center lane helped a little, but I was never so happy to be off a bridge in my life. I think I will drive home via I-95.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:45 PM   #2
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So I went to our first FROG Rally in Williamsburg VA. Still here. Great first rally, great group of folks. On the way here, had to cross Chesapeake Bay via the Bay Bridge, Rt. 301/50. Towed my rig in left lane at just over 50 mph, as middle lane seemed to be going quite slow. Now I know why. Traveling in outer left lane of this bridge, with no shoulder, and a flimsy guardrail, and nothing but view of water FAR below you from the driver's seat, is not for the light of heart.

I am no sissy. I used to jump off buildings rappelling as a younger man. I have a healthy fear of heights, but nothing irrational or paralyzing. Somehow, the view of the span of bridge in the opposite direction, seeing how insanely high it was above the water, and the feeling of riding on the edge of the bridge at high speed with apparently nothing between you and impending death invoked a horrible vertigo-like feeling. I've never had a panic attack before, but I think I may have gotten a taste. Finally moving over to the center lane helped a little, but I was never so happy to be off a bridge in my life. I think I will drive home via I-95.
Hey Kris,

I have taken this bridge many, many times. I couldn't agree with you more. I usually stop in Annapolis for something to eat though which makes it worthwhile.
The only thing worse is taking your rig through manhattan
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
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I can't count how many times I have been over that bridge both ways. Went different to and from Williamsburg. Took the Bay Tunnel instead. Very nice ride and a little less traffic this time of year.
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Old 10-06-2019, 02:18 PM   #4
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Coney, this trip is the first since I camped with you in the Spring, we are having such a good time it breaks my heart thinking I will be winterizing soon. Maybe squeeze one more in at Turkey Swamp!
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:09 PM   #5
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Travel that bridge a lot of times but usually always in the right lane, so just have to listen to the wife, I usually tell her to climb in the sleeper until it's over.

The next bridge, the Nice bridge over the Potomac is the one that tightens me up, single lane each way always afraid a mirror will hit.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:15 PM   #6
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I was thinking of taking a trip that involved the Mackinac bridge in Michigan...your description is pretty much exactly how I thought I might feel! Iím not squeamish or fearful, but...
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:59 PM   #7
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Travel that bridge a lot of times but usually always in the right lane, so just have to listen to the wife, I usually tell her to climb in the sleeper until it's over.

The next bridge, the Nice bridge over the Potomac is the one that tightens me up, single lane each way always afraid a mirror will hit.
Our last trip over that narrow bridge, it was one lane due to construction. Some clown from NY had to SEE what was going on and had his driver side Dodge pickup mirror well into my lane and no way to move over more or stop. Just cracked my housing. I don't know what it did to his, but I hope he doesn't do that stupid trick again!
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:15 PM   #8
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it does take getting used to it - as we cross - i have to tell myself to breath. we are usually going across the bay bridge when the traffic is heavy and the speed is never anywhere near the speed limit - that helps. When going west bound, i am always in the center lane.



East bound there is only two lanes so, i stay in the right lane so can't see the water. I also don't go through the left side ezpass as this lane often gets shunted onto the west bound span and you are the only lane going east when the other two lanes are going west.....
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:14 PM   #9
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I have crossed that bridge many times. I love it as long there is no bumper to bumper traffic. However if traffic is bothering you give the rig a quick (but safe) shake of the wheel, the traffic will scatter like roaches. What I don't like is crossing east bound in the rain with TT. The rear tires slip on every expansion joint climbing up the bridge. Pretty sure the drive line screams at me to stop. Now I believe that they still drive your vehicle across for you if you fear the bridge but I don't think they drive it with trailers.
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:41 AM   #10
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Kris,

When I was in my teens and living in VA, the Bridge-Tunnel opened and my family (er, Dad) just had to traverse it. Each year we would find a reason (usually Williamsburg) and head out for the Bridge.

My Dad drove with me seated behind him and my Mom and Sister on the passenger side. While I did not notice my Mon's anxiety, I giggled at my Sister in her fetal position on the floor of the back seat.

Roll the clock forward 55+ years. I am now piloting an F-150 with an 8-foot wide trailer across the Sagamore and Bourne bridges to and from Cape Cod. It's nowhere near the magnitude of the CBBT but I can't help but feel bad about my Mom and Sister when we cross.

Next time I'm taking the Tunnel:

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Old 10-07-2019, 12:24 PM   #11
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There are people nearby for hire to drive you across that bridge. I saw an article that ranks it very high as one of the most terrifying bridges to drive across.

I really don't mind it until I end up when they reverse lanes on one bridge span. Between the flimsy guardrail AND oncoming traffic with no barrier. Yeah, totally messes with my head.

But, I'll second dblr - I loathe the Harry P Nice bridge. It's neither Hairy nor Nice.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:33 PM   #12
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And for the next TWO years, it will be under construction.....already causing tremendous havoc with traffic on both sides of the bridge and all the local feeder roads...
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:45 PM   #13
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narrow bridges :-)

Yes I've traveled it several times and I much prefer the Bay Bridge Tunnel to Norfolk. Of course traveling through Norfolk can be a white knuckle ride too. Pick your poison :-)

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Old 10-07-2019, 12:51 PM   #14
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Be aware of carrying propane tanks with product in them through the tunnels, you may receive a hefty fine if caught.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:55 PM   #15
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Stay east of the Mississippi as if have to cross 1 of many passes it will be less fun. May even find snow 1/2 up in August. No flimsy guard rails, none at all.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:56 PM   #16
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I'm a bridge junkie. The Bay Bridge at Annapolis is awesome! I used to love driving over it, except on Fridays in the summer when the eastbound traffic would back up for miles. One day each year, they close one span to traffic and open it for walking and cycling across.

I used to live 10 miles from the Nice Bridge from Maryland to Virginia on US-301, and crossed it hundreds of times. The best times were when there were stoppages for the endless maintenance on the ancient bridge, and I could get out at the top and look around.

On the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel from Norfolk, there are turnarounds at the restaurant near the western shore, and just before the toll booth on the eastern shore. On one beautiful summer's day, I drove back and forth four times for one toll payment.
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Old 10-07-2019, 12:58 PM   #17
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I understand how you feel but being from the eastern side of the bridge anything other than local trips usually takes us across the bridge so maybe I'm used to it. I'm sorry but I'll take a ride over that bridge before wanting to be on I-95. The sign says 65 but if you aren't doing 80 you are in the way!!! Leave a safe enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you and some one will squeeze right on in. No thank you. Those big city folks need to get up earlier and maybe they won't need to be in such a big hurry.


OK I feel better now.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:35 PM   #18
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I used to have a friend, who was in his 30's when I knew him, that would get in the floor of the car curled up like a ball. He was terrified of that bridge.

They do offer drivers for people who can't make it over without a panic attack, but, you would have to ask about driving an rv over for you, or give me a time to meet you and I will drive it over, haven't lost mine yet.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:47 PM   #19
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I do have a fear of heights and realized them fully at Grand Canyon a couple years ago driving the rv to one of the observation points. Looked out the side and realized it was straight down, no guard rail so focused on the yellow line between the lanes. I didn't get out of the rv once we got to the parking lot and after we got off of it we stopped at the indian site on the other side of the road to give me a chance to calm down.

This summer we were in the UP and had plans to go over the Mackinac bridge. My wife hasn't ever driven our 38' class A and the morning before we were supposed to cross the bridge, I pulled my back getting the griddle from under the rv. We ended up delaying a day. Lots of muscle relaxers and a brace helped so I drove. Had a hard time on the bridge keeping my speed down. t 1/2 way and the right lane was closed for construction and had to force my way over. Fortunately it wasn't windy.
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Old 10-07-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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I LOVE heights!
I have to add this bridge as a must-do, when we travel back East.
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