Terrible Traffic Congestion on I-95 in Baltimore to Last 8 MonthsAuthor: Portner & Shure
Construction on I-95 from Caton Avenue to the Fort McHenry Tunnel will begin March 29 and last until Thanksgiving. Over the 8 month period, drivers should expect very heavy traffic congestion with several lane shifts and lane closures. Last year, the same construction project led to “13 shifts in traffic patterns” and “caused major headaches for commuters.” Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA) officials are warning that “this year will be far worse—with 29 such shifts scheduled.” Officials expect the problems to be so severe that MdTA officials asked employers “to allow workers to change their hours to avoid peak travel periods, which are from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.”
With these new traffic patterns coming, including numerous lane shifts and closures, drivers must be even more cautious and aware of where they are going in order to avoid accidents. The construction project will require weekly changes to traffic patterns, which will likely lead to confusion on the part of drivers as to how to exit the highway. Last year, several drivers were confused by the new traffic patterns and a multitude of accidents and massive traffic jams ensued. Drivers who use I-95 for their commute every day will remember last August when new traffic patterns arose and the electronic message boards told drivers the incorrect instructions about how to proceed. That problem led to what some called “the worst I’ve seen it due to road construction.”
To help drivers through this difficult period, the MdTA will post updates to traffic patterns on Twitter with the hashtag #i95bmore and messages will be posted on the electronic message boards.
Two of those 29 traffic pattern shifts will begin one week from March 29, and MdTA officials expect it to have “particularly large effects on traffic.” On the Northbound side, “lanes are to be split—three to the left and one to the right—from Hanover Street to Key Highway.” Therefore, all drivers who need to exit onto any of those streets must be in the far right lane. On the Southbound side, “lanes will be split—two to the left and two to the right—from Key Highway to south of the I-395 on-ramp.” And again, if you must exit onto one of those streets, you must be in the far right lane.
While this will be a frustrating time for many drivers trying to get to and from work, everyone needs to remain calm and drive safely so as not to put other drivers at risk or construction workers at risk.
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