Alternate Route Around Baltimore Tunnel

When traveling through Baltimore,  motorists must travel through a harbor crossing to get to the other side of town.

There are three crossings that have a toll and two routes that are free that go around the City of Baltimore. This will also provide RVs an alternate route around the two Baltimore tunnels

First Option (I-95) Fort McHenry Tunnel

The is the most direct crossing and shortest distance to get from the other side of town is I-95. The distance between I-95 & I-695 western interchange and the I-95 eastern interchange is under 15 miles. This route will have motorists stay on I-95 and go through the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel (FMT). The tolls for the FMT is $3 with EZ-Pass and $6 non-EZ-Pass.  Tolling is all electronic and cashless.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) website, “Vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using both the Fort McHenry Tunnel. It is a four tubes with eight lanes (four northbound and four southbound)

Second Option (I-895) Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (BHT)

Motorists traveling on I-95 northbound can take the northbound entrance exit for I-895 at I-95 exit 62 and can take the southbound entrance exit I-95 at 46. I-895 is a through way and does not have any exits until after the BHT. I-895 is 14.87 miles long. There is an I-895/I-695 interchange on the west side of Baltimore, but the roads do not intersect on the eastside of Baltimore. Motorists will eventually reconnect to I-95 when I-895 ends.

The tolls for the BHT is $3 with EZ-Pass and $6 non-EZ-Pass.  Tolling is all electronic and cashless.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) website, “ Vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using both the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor Tunnels. In addition, vehicles in excess of 13 feet, 6 inches, in height, or 96 inches (8 feet) in width; and all double trailers are prohibited from using the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.”

This tunnel is smaller as it is only contains two tubes with four lanes (two northbound and two southbound). There is sometimes head-on traffic at night as I-895 shuts down one tube during construction.

Third Option (I-695 south) Key Bridge

This is the first alternate route if a motorists can’t use one of the tunnels, such as an RV.

According to the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) website, “Vehicles carrying Class 1 explosives and radioactive materials require an escort at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. For additional information regarding these restrictions, please call 410-537-1374.” There are also possible wind restrictions.

It is four lanes (two northbound and two southbound). The distance between I-95 & I-695 western interchange and the I-95&-1-695 eastern interchange is around 23 miles when using the southern portion of I-695.

The tolls for the Key Bridge is the same as the tunnels: $3 with EZ-Pass and $6 non-EZ-Pass.  Tolling is all electronic and cashless.

Fourth Option (I-695 north )

An alternate route that avoids, tunnels, bridges and tolls is the northern portion of I-695. Motorists traveling south or north bound I-95 and exit to I-695 north toward Towson. There are no restrictions on the northern portion of the Beltway and no tolls.

The catch is the distance between I-95 & I-695 western interchange and the I-95&-1-695 eastern interchange is over 27 miles when using the northern portion of I-695.

Fifth Option (U.S. 40) Baltimore City

Another alternate route that avoids, tunnels, bridges and tolls is U.S. 40. Motorists traveling I-95 South can exit to I-695 south to U.S. 40 about one mile later and get off at the U.S. 40 West exit. Motorist on the west side can exit to I-695 north to U.S. 40, which is about 4.5 miles. Then motorists will take U.S. 40 east towards Baltimore City. The mileage between I-695 & U.S. 40 on the eastside to I-695& U.S. 40 on the west side is 14.5 miles, but the trip is more time consuming with more traffic and stop lights.