MDOTSHA Launches Next Phase Of I-695 Project: Lane Closures Expected Through Spring 2024
BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOTSHA) has kicked off the latest segment of its ambitious project to relieve congestion and ensure more consistent travel times on I-695 (Baltimore Beltway).
The initiative aims to transform parts of the median shoulder along I-695, between I-70 and MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard), into extra travel lanes during peak rush hours. The present construction between Stevenson and Joppa roads in the Pikesville/Towson zone will continue until spring 2024.
Work hours for the crews are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. overnight. During these periods, one lane on the inner and outer loops will be closed. Occasional double lane closures could also begin from 10 p.m. onwards.
"We know motorists will be inconvenienced by these off-peak lane closures and speed reductions along I-695, but we all must work together to protect the men and women – our neighbors, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – who are improving our highway system," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. "The work we're accomplishing will create a better, safer, and more reliable highway network for everyone."
Though there won't be any disruptions during rush hours, motorists are advised to avoid the active construction areas during off-hours to ensure the construction crews' safety and avoid potential traffic snarls.
Those who cannot bypass these zones are likely to face delays and should prepare accordingly. Several alternative routes, including MD 130, MD 133, MD 25, I-95, and I-895, are recommended, as are transit and ridesharing options.
There will be a ten mph speed limit reduction during work hours, dropping from 55 to 45 mph. This limit will revert to the standard 55 mph when no work is in progress.
"We will employ strategies to calm traffic and enhance enforcement, which will improve safety during the work," said State Highway Administrator William Pines. "Our goal for this and all work zones is to deploy the latest technology and work with our law enforcement partners to modify and correct driver behaviors."
The ongoing I-695 project, which commenced in 2020 and is anticipated to conclude by fall 2025, integrates multiple strategies, including lane controls and intelligent traffic surveillance. When finished, it is expected to eradicate nine traffic bottlenecks, enhance safety measures, and provide time savings for commuters. Morning travelers on the I-695 outer loop could save up to 34 minutes, while evening commuters on the inner loop might see a time reduction of 21 minutes.
For detailed schedules and up-to-date information on the I-695 project, interested parties can visit the official project page.
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