Interstate 695 Maryland

Interstate 695 fully encircles the city of Baltimore. A short and congested overlap coincides the route with Interstate 83 near Towson.


One of Baltimore's most heavily traveled highways, Interstate 695 encircles the city as both a busy commuter route and a truck bypass. Mid-2004s construction saw the northern portion of the beltway widened to eight lanes, with new sound barriers installed. The former super-two section of Interstate 695 (at one time posted as Maryland 695) near Sparrows Point was widened to four lanes by 1999. Milepost 0 is at the tolled Francis Scott Key Bridge, which was also the last section of the loop to open.

The mileage figure for I-695 reflects only 30.57 miles of the 51.46 mile Beltway as Interstate 695. Per the 2002 AADTS Report by the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, the Baltimore Beltway south of the east parent junction at Exit 33 to Exit 4 with Interstate 97 near Glen Burnie, a distance of 21 miles, is still designated as Maryland 695.

The state of Maryland converted its freeway exit numbering system from a sequential based system to a mileage based system during the mid 1980s. The Baltimore Beltway was not included in the renumbering plan due to the close proximity of interchanges.


Began as a county project, the Baltimore beltway originated in planning as early as 1949. Taken over by the state in 1953 and added to the Interstate system by 1956, the beltway was three quarters complete by 1962. Portions of two other freeway projects (the Windlass and Patapsco Freeways) were incorporated into the southeastern quadrant by 1974.2

The official route of Interstate 695 ran along the northern portion of the Baltimore Beltway. The route was lengthened from south of Baltimore to the Anne Arundel Expressway (Maryland 10) as approved by AASHTO on November 15, 1975. The Francis Scott Key Bridge was the final piece of the overall beltway, opening in 1977 as a toll facility, but with two lane approaches from each side.2 The southeastern quadrant of the beltway is signed as I-695, but officially is Maryland 695.

$800 million in funds was thought to be needed for Interstate 695 expansion in the early 2000s. One of the methods in which transportation officials contemplated aiding in covering the costs wais the introduction of HOT (high occupancy toll) lanes for the Baltimore Beltway. Under this plan, lanes were to be added to Interstate 695 that entailed a user fee or toll. A variable rate for the tolls would be based upon traffic congestion. The goal was to widen Interstate 695 from six to eight lanes between Interstate 83 and Interstate 95 on the northeast side of the city and Interstate 95 and Security Boulevard (exit north of Interstate 70) on the southwest side of the city. Implentation of HOT lanes never came to pass on the Baltimore Beltway, but did along Interstate 95 east of the city.

Other projects undertaken for Beltway expansion include the Liberty Road interchange (Exit 18) reconstruction and addition of a southbound lane between Frederick Road (Exit 13) and Interstate 95 (Exit 11). Completion of these elements of construction occurred during 2004. In a related project to Interstate 695, Maryland 43, better known as White Marsh Boulevard, was extended east to Eastern Avenue (Maryland 150) by 2006. Maryland 43 cuts the corner between the Interstate 95 and 695 interchange east of the city.1

Highway Guides

Beltway Milepost 0 - Francis Scott Key Bridge - south Baltimore, Maryland
The west end of the Francis Scott Key Bridge represents the location of milepost 0 for the Interstate 695 Baltimore Beltway. This photograph looks at the bridge from the westbound lanes to the east. The bridge carries a $1 toll for passenger vehicles as it crosses the Patapsco River. Photo taken by Jim K. Georges (07/99).
Side profile of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Mileposts for Interstate 695 count upwards as the Beltway travels clockwise from the crossing. Photo taken by Jim K. Georges (07/99).
Perspective from Interstate 695 west
Approaching the Francis Scott Key Bridge and associated toll plaza. Interstate 695 recently expanded from a Super 2 section of freeway from the bridge eastward through the Sparrows Point area of southeast Baltimore County. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Descending westbound on the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Interstate 695 briefly enters the city limits of Baltimore on this stretch. Photo taken 10/12/01.
South Parent Junction - Interstate 95 - Arbutus, Maryland
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Soon after departing the Interstate 395 stack interchange is this upcoming exits sign on Interstate 95 southbound. Interstate 95 reaches Interstate 695 in three miles and Interstate 195 in five miles. The ramp to the right connects to the Maryland 295/Baltimore-Washington Parkway southbound. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Approaching Exits 50A/B of Caton Avenue (Alternate U.S. 1) on Interstate 95 southbound. Interstate 695/Exits 49B/A will be reached in two miles. Through this stretch of highway Interstate 95 maintains eight lanes. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 95 is orientated in an east-west fashion through much of Baltimore. This southbound photograph faces westward and shows the 1.25 mile guide sign for Exits 49B/A - Interstate 695. Also of interest at this location is the fact that Interstate 70 was to have interchanged with Interstate 95 here. Some of the ghost ramps for the never built interchange have since been removed. However, some do remain as does a berm from the project visible to the right in this photograph. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Nearing the western parent junction of Interstate 95/695 on Interstate 95 southbound. The southbound beltway off-ramp departs from Interstate 95 on the left. The panel for Exit 49B here includes directions to Interstate 70. The east-west Interstate connects to Interstate 695 five miles to the north at a symmetrical stack interchange. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Exit 49B for Interstate 695 north/Interstate 70 departs from an exit-only lane to the right. Interstate 95 continues westward to Exit 49A. The southbound control cities include Annapolis and Glen Burnie for the connection to Interstate 97. Photo taken 06/02/03.
A pair of original button copy signs still adorn this sign bridge at the Interstate 695 interchange. The space allocated below Washington on the pull-through panel used to display Richmond as a secondary control city. In fact, Richmond and Washington were signed as Interstate 95 control cities throughout much of southwest Baltimore originally. A nearby mileage sign still retaining the distance to Richmond is the only vestige of this practice to remain. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Another button copy sign for Interstate 695 southbound is in place at the departure of Exit 49A. The same sign bridge features the two mile guide sign for the northern terminus of Interstate 195 at Exit 47A. Photo taken 06/02/03.
North Parent Junction - Interstate 95 - near White Marsh, Maryland
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Interstate 95 southbound at the eastern junction with Interstate 695. Interstate 895 shields are posted within this interchange due to the close proximity to the southbound beginning of the Harbor Tunnel Thruway. This interchange has the unusual distinction where Interstate 95 travel lanes overlap each other to allow for access ramps to the Baltimore Beltway. Photo taken 06/97.
Perspective from Interstate 695 north
Button copy overhead on Interstate 695 northbound for Interstate 95. New York is the preferred control city for Interstate 95 north throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. Vidcap taken 09/93.
Perspective from Interstate 695 south
Southbound on Interstate 695 at Exit 32B for U.S. 1 northbound to Perry Hall and Bel Air. The upcoming exits sign is the first indication of the east parent junction with Interstate 95. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 695 reduces to two southbound lanes at Exits 33A/B - Interstate 95. Interstate 695 sees its lightest traffic volumes on the southeast quadrant of the Baltimore Beltway. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Tunnel prohibitions advisory sign for Interstate 95 and 895 southbound on Interstate 695 as it approaches Exit 33A. As mentioned in the milepost 0 section, hazmats are advised to take the Francis Scott Key Bridge to cross the Patapsco River. Photo taken 06/02/03.
One half mile north of Exit 33A/Interstate 95 southbound on Interstate 695 south. Downtown Baltimore is ten miles to the west while Washington D.C. is approximately 44 miles to the south. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Two lanes facilitate travel to Interstate 95 southbound. Interstate 695 continues southeast to Maryland 702, the Southeast Expressway, before turning southward to Essex and Dundalk. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 95 southbound gore point sign at Exit 33A. In the background is Exit 33B for Interstate 95 northbound. The control city is New York, although Interstate 95 also serves Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Trenton before reaching the Big Apple. Photo taken 06/02/03.


  1. "Tolls may help fund Beltway expansion." Baltimore Sun, November 14, 2003.
  2. MDRoads: I-695.

Page Updated May 27, 2015.

More Info


State Maryland
Mileage 30.57
Cities Baltimore, Dundalk, Essex, Rosedale, Towson, Catonsville
Junctions I-97, I-895, I-95, I-70, I-795, I-83, I-95
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List (the southern portion of the beltway is considered a state route in this log)
I-695 Maryland Annual Average Daily Traffic

State Location AADT Composite Year
Maryland Francis Scott Key Br 31,568 2002
Maryland Catonsville 176,900 2002
Maryland Woodlawn 219,350 2002
Maryland Towson 159,350 2002
Maryland Essex 107,550 2002
Maryland Dundalk 23,750 2002
Source: 2002 AADTS Report (Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration - Highway Information Services Division)
Complete Interstate 695 data.
Baltimore - Maryland Official Highway Map 1966.
The Baltimore Beltway was completed north from Maryland 2 in Anne Arundel County to U.S. 40 (Pulaski Highway) east of Baltimore in 1962. The next portion to open was the Southeast Freeway between Pulaski Highway and Maryland 150 (Eastern Boulevard) in 1972.2 This section was later dropped as part of the Beltway mainline, with I-695 shifting westward along portions of the Winlass and Patapsco Freeways.
Baltimore - Maryland Official Highway Map 1976.
The Baltimore Beltway was vastly complete in 1976 with the exception of the Francis Scott Key Bridge and its approaches, which opened a year later. Signs for the beltway displaying Maryland 695 were later replaced with tri-color Interstate markers for continuity purposes.