Summer 2004 was the summer of travel hell for many people in eastern Maryland. Time and time again, travelers heard the bad news on the radio. “The Chesapeake Bay Bridge traffic is ensnared in a massive back-up and has resulted in another delay,” radio traffic reporters in Annapolis repeated again and again.

The environment generated a strong public outcry after almost two years of extended delays. Some locals suggested that the deck overlay project’s problems began at the beginning. A report from a blue-ribbon panel of experts seems to be a classic story of a good idea applied improperly.