With the high-span bridge across the Kent Narrows open to two-way traffic, Marylanders can say goodbye to one of the major headaches on the way to Ocean City. The span arches 3,000 feet and replaces the old drawbridge that had created horrendous summertime back-ups.
The tall bridge is providing other benefits for Eastern Shore residents. Many Route 50 merchants noted a rise in Christmas shoppers. And it makes jobs on the Western Shore more appealing.
We hope that does not set off a further rush for residential development on the Shore. State and local authorities should resist such an urge if it threatens the bay's delicate marshes and shoreline. Adoption of more focused growth standards recommended by a gubernatorial commission to protect the Chesapeake basin is essential.
Yet this should not diminish the value of the new Kent Narrows Bridge, nor deflect attention from its original purpose. It will ease automotive traffic over the span and facilitate marine traffic through the narrows. Both groups should be well pleased with this $35.4 million state investment.