Building the Bay Bridge | WYPR

Building the Bay Bridge

May 27, 2014

Credit Old Line Publishing

More people live in Baltimore than any other city in our state. But during the summer months, Ocean City is number 2. Year-round, only about 7,000 people live there, but between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Ocean City population explodes to 320,000 or more.

Ocean City has been a vacation destination since the 1800s. But its summer populations saw a massive upswing after the first span of the William Preston Lane, Jr. Memorial Bridge (also known as the Bay Bridge) opened, in 1952.

Before the Bay Bridge, Ocean City and the entire Eastern Shore were very separate from the rest of Maryland. Today, the Shore’s population is growing, incomes are going up, and its culture is changing. The Bay Bridge plays a big role in all of that.

The Bay Bridge was a long time coming, and the subject of many controversies along the way. Journalist David Guth has written a book about the history of the bridge. It's called "Bridging the Chesapeake: A 'Fool Idea' that United Maryland." 

Guth joins Nathan Sterner to discuss the political history behind the Bridge's construction.