Sept. 5, 2014

Contact:          John Sales






Motorists Urged To Use Alternate Routes, Plan Ahead


BALTIMORE, MD – As the city of Baltimore gears up for the 2014 Star-Spangled Spectacular, the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds motorists to anticipate delays, plan ahead and Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

With an expected attendance of more than one million, the Star-Spangled Spectacular will take place Wednesday, Sept. 10 - Tuesday, Sept. 16.  Throughout the week, event-related traffic may result in major delays at the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) and along the I-95/I-395 corridor.  Commuters and event-goers heading to and from Baltimore during weekday morning and evening rush hours may experience higher than normal volumes of traffic on I-95/I-395.  In addition, ongoing construction between Caton Avenue and Hanover Street on I-95 involves lane shifts and various ramp closures.

An international parade of more than 30 tall ships and naval vessels will sail into Baltimore Harbor on Wednesday, Sept. 10 and depart on Tuesday, Sept. 16.  The heaviest traffic volumes in the area are expected on Saturday, Sept. 13, and Sunday, Sept. 14, for the Star-Spangled Air Show featuring the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.  Concerts and fireworks will also take place Saturday evening at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. 

Motorists are urged to take the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) or the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.  Motorists heading into the city should consider alternate routes such as I-83 or US 40, and from I-95, O’Donnell/Boston Street (Exit 57), Eastern Avenue (Exit 59) or Caton Avenue (Exit 50) to Wilkens Avenue.  Alternate route maps are available here and

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority.  The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles.  MDTA also offers the following travel tips:

·      Plan Ahead:

o           For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at  Find us on Facebook at To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit  Call 511 or visit for statewide travel information.

o           Allow additional travel time.

o           For information on the Star-Spangled Spectacular visit,

o           Consider public transportation – Light Rail, Metro Subway and Local Bus provide transit options.  Visit for more information.

I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel:  A major rehabilitation project is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Currently, traffic lanes on northbound I-95 split around the work zone between the Caton Avenue on-ramp and north of Exit 52: three lanes to the left and one lane to the right.  Motorists in the three left lanes can NOT use Exit 52 (Russell Street), but can access Exits 53 (Northbound I-395) and 55 (Key Highway).  KEEP RIGHT TO ACCESS RUSSELL STREET EXIT.  The right lane still has access to Exits 53 and 55.  Northbound I-95 Exit 54 (Hanover Street) is closed continuously – the detour route directs motorists to Exit 55 (Key Highway), to McComas Street, to Hanover Street.  In addition, the on-ramp from Russell Street to northbound I-95 is closed continuously – the detour route directs motorists to Russell Street Service Drive, to southbound I-395, to northbound I-95.

Reminder: Anticipate additional traffic from stadium events on Thursday, Sept. 11 (Baltimore Ravens game) and Friday, Sept. 12 (Baltimore Orioles day/night doubleheader).

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

o        Do not park along highway shoulders or stop on the Key Bridge to watch the events or ships.                     

o        Electronic message signs will display information on travel time, delays, incidents or alternate routes.

o        Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.

o        State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.

o        Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.

o        Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.

o        Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”

o        If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.

o        State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle using visual signals.  If you are unable to move over, slow down. 

The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity.  Citizens may report suspicious or unusual activity by calling 1-800-429-TIPS (8477).  The TIPS hotline is staffed 24/7 by members of the Maryland Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes MDTA Police.

Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of our National Anthem

O Say Can You See! Star-Spangled Spectacular is a free festival that celebrates the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem. Tall ships, Navy ships and the Blue Angels will come to Baltimore’s famed Inner Harbor to celebrate The Star-Spangled Banner.

Landside festivals include living history demonstrations, a family fun zone, live musical performances, and Chesapeake food and beverage.

Events crescendo on September 13 with two star-studded patriotic concerts and extraordinary fireworks display over Fort McHenry and the Baltimore harbor, which will broadcast live on PBS’ Great Performances.

Star-Spangled Spectacular Commercial Vehicle Restrictions (PDF Download)

For more information, please visit

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience.