FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2012
Contact: Cheryl Sparks or John Sales
AVOID I-895 & THE BALTIMORE HARBOR TUNNEL THIS SUMMER **MAJOR DELAYS EXPECTED**
K-Truss Steel Bridge Repairs South of Tunnel with 24/7 Lane Closures; Use I-95 and I-695/Key Bridge Instead
BALTIMORE, MD – Necessary work to preserve and resurface the 55-year-old “K-Truss” steel bridge deck on I-895 south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel will lead to major congestion and delays for drivers who choose to travel the route this summer. The nearly $5 million project, funded completely by toll revenue, requires an eight-week duration of continuous (24/7) single lane closures on I-895 beginning on or about June 20, with major delays anticipated.
“Our message is very clear – avoid I-895 this summer and instead use the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 or the Key Bridge on I-695. If you drive I-895, expect major delays, especially during rush hours, potentially as much as 60 minutes per trip,” said MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett. “This concrete work simply cannot be done while keeping all lanes of I-895 open. Our team developed a complex sequencing of construction and traffic patterns that will accomplish the work while still keeping at least one lane of I-895 open in each direction over the eight-week period. I thank our customers for their patience, understanding and willingness to adjust their travel habits.”
In addition to weekday rush hours, major delays are expected Saturdays beginning around noon on southbound I-895 and Sundays beginning around 4 p.m. on northbound I-895.
Through extensive sampling and testing of the concrete, the MDTA confirmed that it is necessary to perform a milling and resurfacing of the top 3.5 inches of the K-Truss bridge deck using Latex Modified Concrete. Construction includes removing and replacing portions of the existing concrete-filled steel grid bridge deck, removing and reconstructing portions of the existing concrete and steel median barriers, and performing drainage improvements.
The work zone consists of the I-895 K-Truss bridge and approach roadways between Exit 8 (Shell Road/Hanover Street) and Exit 7 (Potee Street). Median barrier work will also be performed on I-895 over Frankfurst Avenue. Scheduled to be complete in October 2012, work will be performed in four stages.
- Stage 1 beginning on or about June 20 (approximately 30 days): one northbound lane closed (left lane) and two southbound lanes open.
- Stage 2 beginning mid-July (approx. two weeks): one northbound lane closed (right lane) and two southbound lanes open.
- Stage 3 beginning early August (approx. two weeks): two southbound lanes closed with two-way traffic -- one lane for northbound traffic and one lane for southbound traffic -- on northbound bridge.
- Stage 4 beginning mid-August (approx. 45 days): both lanes open in each direction with traffic shifted to outside lanes for work in center median. Reduced lane widths on I-895. No work will be performed during the Labor Day holiday weekend and the Baltimore Grand Prix.
The schedule is subject to change due to weather and other variables. Additional off-peak lane closures will occur as necessary.
This current deck rehabilitation project is being performed by Eastern Highway Specialists, Inc., of Wilmington, Del. The K-Truss bridge deck was last resurfaced in 2000. This minor project included a less extensive rehabilitation of the deck using limited, short-term lane closures.
Other preservation projects expected to begin on I-895 this summer include a deck replacement project on the I-895 bridges over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street, a resurfacing project for the ramp from northbound I-97 to northbound I-895 and a cleaning and painting project for 11 bridges along I-895. In addition, a cleaning and painting project is underway for five bridges south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.
Motorists should be aware of portable and overhead electronic message signs that will display closure and/or detour information. For information on the MDTA’s other facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. For statewide travel conditions, visit MD511.ORG or call 511.
The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!