The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) warned motorists to avoid I-895 and the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel due to major construction and traffic impacts beginning now. Two-way traffic will operate on I-895 for two years started on Nov. 27. Motorists should use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes. The work is part of the MDTA’s $189 million I-895 Bridge Project, announced on Dec. 21, 2017, to replace the 60-year-old bridge north of the Harbor Tunnel.
“To avoid sitting in traffic, motorists should plan on using I-695 or I-95 as alternate routes,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn.
Northbound I-895 is closed completely for one year from the north side of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel to the Boston/O’Donnell Street exit ramp (Exit 11). Two-way traffic – one lane in each direction – will operate on southbound I-895.
The I-895/Holabird Avenue exit ramp (Exit 10) will close completely during this time.
Additionally, the northbound bore of the Harbor Tunnel will close 24/7 for 60 days in spring 2019 with two-way traffic operating in the southbound bore. Northbound I-895 and the Holabird Avenue exit ramp will reopen to traffic in spring 2020.
“This I-895 Bridge is the MDTA’s only remaining structurally deficient bridge,” said MDTA Executive Director Kevin C. Reigrut. “We ask our customers to be patient as we deliver this long-overdue project and remind motorists to drive safely through work zones.”
In spring 2020, southbound I-895 will close completely with two-way traffic operating on northbound I-895.
Additionally, the southbound bore of the Harbor Tunnel will close 24/7 for 60 days in spring 2020 with two-way traffic operating in the northbound bore. Southbound I-895 will reopen to traffic in spring 2021.
The MDTA’s $189 million I-895 Bridge Project will replace the I-895 bridge located north of the Harbor Tunnel. Work includes replacing the Holabird Avenue exit ramp and rehabilitating the Harbor Tunnel, including repairs to the tunnel portal, approach ramps and walls, deck and tiles. Tutor Perini Corporation is performing the work. The project began in April 2018 and is expected to be completed in summer 2021. As part of the event, the MDTA announced that major impacts from two other projects in Baltimore will end before major impacts begin on I-895.
A $49.4 million project to provide four continuous northbound and southbound lanes on I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel and Moravia Road began in March 2017 and was completed in October 2018. A $20 million project to rehabilitate the structural, mechanical, and electrical components of the Curtis Creek Drawbridge on I-695 began in December 2017 and is expected to be completed in time for the bridge to reopen to traffic on Nov. 20.
The I-95 project converted entrance and exit lanes into a continuous fourth lane northbound and southbound. Eliminating these bottlenecks will help manage congestion during the I-895 project and beyond. Work on the Curtis Creek Drawbridge will ensure reliable travel for commuters taking the I-695/Key Bridge alternate route. The completion of these two projects was key to preparing for the major impacts from the I-895 Bridge Project.
Due to the major traffic impacts and different stages of the I-895 Bridge Project, extensive public outreach will occur, including a project website at 895bmore.com. The MDTA will update motorists on changing traffic patterns via traffic advisories and social media. The MDTA will deploy an Active Traffic Management System for this project to alert drivers of ongoing traffic conditions.
Motorists should avoid I-895 and use I-695 and I-95 as alternative routes. Motorists also should pay attention to electronic and static signs for up-to-date travel information. To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA.