Chesapeake Bay Bridge


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A 1938 proposal by the Maryland General Assembly was the first to call for a bridge at the Sandy Point–Kent Island location. Although the legislation authorizing the new bridge passed, the involvement of the United States in World War II delayed the bridge's construction. In 1947, with the war over, the Assembly, under the leadership of Maryland Governor William Preston Lane Jr. , (1892–1967), passed legislation directing the old State Roads Commission to begin construction. Ground was broken in January 1949, and after a ​3 1⁄2-year construction project, the bridge opened to traffic on July 30, 1952, as both the longest continuous over-water steel structure, and the third longest bridge in the world. Before the opening, a parade of vehicles made the first official crossing, led by then current Governor Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin, (1900–1974), and other state officials in a distinctive white Cadillac convertible flying huge American and Maryland flags. On November 9, 1967, the bridge was dedicated to Governor Lane, who had died earlier that year, and officially renamed the "William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge".