I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge MD - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 77 Old 07-30-2017 Thread Starter
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I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge MD

I have a plan to sail to the River Marsh Marina in Cambridge MD, on the Choptank River. This is behind the US-50 bridge which in the chart is labeled as "Fixed bridge Vert. CL 50ft." So, I measured my mast and came up with 49'3" to the tip of the antenna. I went back and measured again and came up with the same number. Let's assume I did not screw up the measurement.

So, I should be able to just fit under there. But when I contacted the marina, they told me that the 50' is at low water. I told them that I thought the bridge heights on nautical charts are at Mean High Water but he said that "Here we go off mean low to be safe but I'm sure it's at average tide."

So we have a conflict between local knowledge (this guy is as local as it gets) and official information (like https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/...nc_bridge.html). Does anyone know for sure?

Also: Does anyone know whether there is one of these water level scales that give the bridge height over the water for the actual water level?

Information much appreciated!
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

Active Captains say 50' at high water. If you are worried about it you can get a slip at Cambridge city basin Just west of the bridge or there is a free bulkhead just inside Cambridge creek. I have been under it several times but i am only 36' You maybe able to call towboat they may have a better info.
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

Vertical bridge clearances on charts are referenced to Mean High Water in tidal areas. Therefore if the existing height of tide is below MHW, there will be greater clearance. If the existing height of tide is greater than MHW, there will be less clearance. The USCG provides bridge clearance information to NOAA. From: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/...nc_bridge.html
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

If I remember correctly, the true bridge height over the Choptank at Cambridge is 'weird'.

Best would be to call the dock master at Cambridge City Marina (adjacent to this bridge) and speak to the dock master directly to ask for his 'advice'; and, not ask for 'official' information:
Cambridge Dockmaster Office (410) 228-4031
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

Swing the boom out, tie two buckets of water to the end so you heel over some.....and pray..🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻


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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

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Active Captains say 50' at high water. If you are worried about it you can get a slip at Cambridge city basin Just west of the bridge or there is a free bulkhead just inside Cambridge creek. I have been under it several times but i am only 36' You maybe able to call towboat they may have a better info.
Yeah, I thought of that. Thing is that I am meeting with people who are staying at the hotel that belongs to the marina (probably more vice-versa). And staying in the marina will give me guest privileges in the hotel (showers etc) so it would be really nice to be able to just stay in the hotel/marina, rather than having the boat somewhere else, needing to sneak in somewhere for showering etc.
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

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Yes, that's a classic.

But: NO!
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

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Vertical bridge clearances on charts are referenced to Mean High Water in tidal areas. Therefore if the existing height of tide is below MHW, there will be greater clearance. If the existing height of tide is greater than MHW, there will be less clearance. The USCG provides bridge clearance information to NOAA. From: https://www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/...nc_bridge.html
Yes, I know. That is the link from my original post.
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Re: I need the exact height of the US-50 bridge over the Choptank River in Cambridge

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