Interstate 395 is a short freeway spur from Interstate 95 to Baltimore's downtown and Inner Harbor district. The freeway begins at an elevated stack interchange over the harbor itself. The northern terminus funnels traffic onto ramps leading to M & T Bank Stadium (home of the NFL Baltimore Ravens), Oriole Park at Camden Yards (home of the MLB Baltimore Orioles), and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the northwest. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard leads to U.S. 40 and the former Interstate 170 freeway.
Interstate 395 constitutes a freeway spur from Interstate 95 into downtown Baltimore. The short freeway forks into two spokes. The eastern spoke provides direct access into the central business district and the Inner Harbor Area. The western spoke becomes Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard as it skirts west of downtown. Both prongs of Interstate 395 are signed as the freeway mainline. The southern terminus comprises a high-speed interchange elevated over the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.
AASHTO approved the designation of Interstate 395 for Downtown Baltimore on June 30, 1970. Road work began on the freeway in 1976 and was completed December 9, 1982.1
Original button copy overheads for Interstate 95 on Interstate 395 southbound. This is the first of two sets of sign bridges before Interstate 395 concludes. The sign panel to the right is a hazardous materials restriction sign for the Fort McHenry Tunnel/Interstate 95 north. Photo taken by Jim K. Georges (06/98).
The Interstate 395 defaults southbound onto Interstate 95. These newer reflectorized guide signs replace the ones Pictured in the above photograph. The highest flyover of the interchange is the northbound Interstate 95 ramp from Interstate 395 southbound. This ramp does feature a partial shoulder and can accommodate two cars side by side if necessary. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Interstate 95 southbound shield with the state name. This shield is posted on the ramp from Interstate 395 southbound. Down below are the waters of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River and a railroad bridge. Photo taken 10/12/01.
A second view of the Interstate 95 southbound ramp from Interstate 395 south. Continuing onward traffic will reach Interstate 695 in four miles and Interstate 195 in six miles. Photo taken 07/97.
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Soon after emerging from the tolled Fort McHenry Tunnel, Interstate 95 sees this upcoming exits sign for downtown Baltimore area exits. Included is the one mile countdown for the northbound beginning of Interstate 395. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Exit 53/Interstate 395 northbound sign bridge on Interstate 95 southbound, one half mile from the terminus. Interstate 395 is the best route into downtown and offers convenient access to the Inner Harbor tourist district. Photo taken 06/02/03.
The second to last guide sign for Exit 53/Interstate 395 northbound is attached to this sign bridge. Exit 52 for Maryland 295, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, departs while southbound Interstate 95 is amassed within the stack interchange of Exit 53. There is no access from Interstate 395 south to Maryland 295 south. Photo taken 06/02/03.
What did the empty brackets on the left side of the above Pictured sign bridge hold? The answer is an Interstate 95 south Washington pull-through panel. This set of button copy signs is original and saw replacement by 1999. Photo taken 07/97.
Interstate 95 maintains three southbound lanes through the massive Exit 53 stack interchange. Interstate 395 northbound begins to the right and enters downtown Baltimore within one mile. Maryland 295 traffic departs in the one quarter mile. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Interstate 95 southbound at the Interstate 395 northbound beginning two years prior to the above photograph. Traffic utilizing Interstate 395 to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard can easily reach both U.S. 1 and 40 to the west of downtown. Photo taken 10/13/01.
Curving onto Interstate 395 northbound from Exit 53 of Interstate 95 southbound. This view of the stack interchange reveals the aforementioned railroad bridge far below. Photo taken 07/97.
Interstate 95 southbound sheds traffic to Exit 52/Maryland 295 - Baltimore-Washington Parkway. The parkway and Maryland 295 begin at this interchange, traveling southward to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI Airport), Linthicum, and Jessup. Photo taken 06/02/03.
Fall view of Interstate 95 southbound at Exit 52/Maryland 295 south. Interstate 95 remains elevated on a viaduct westward to Exit 51/Caton Avenue. An intricate network of ramps can be found from area highways below over adjacent wetlands. Photo taken 10/13/01.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
This distant view of the Interstate 95/395 stack interchange is visible from an open land area off nearby Maryland 2. The Middle Branch of the Patapsco River composes the body of water in the view. Photo taken 06/97.
Northbound Interstate 95 as it nears Exit 52/Russell Street northbound. This interchange also represents the northern terminus of Maryland 295 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. There is no access however, to Maryland 295 southbound. Traffic taking Russell Street northbound will cross the northwest branch of Interstate 395 as it enters downtown Baltimore. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Like Interstate 95 southbound, Interstate 95 northbound maintains three through lanes through the Exit 53 stack interchange of Interstate 395. To the right and below the viaduct is the return ramp from Maryland 295/Baltimore-Washington Parkway northbound. This ramp will not merge in until after the Interstate 395 northbound ramp departs. Photo taken 10/12/01.
The stack interchange pervading on the horizon, Interstate 395 leaves Interstate 95 northbound and turns toward downtown Baltimore. Interstate 95 enters the tolled Fort McHenry Tunnel within three miles. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Crossing under the stacked Interstate 395 ramps on Interstate 95 northbound. This interchange is a directional T. The difference between it and other stacks of this nature is that every ramp and roadway here is elevated over a body of water. Photo taken 10/12/01.
A side view of the Interstate 95/395 stack interchange as seen from the Baltimore-Washington Parkway/Maryland 295 northbound on-ramp to Interstate 95. There is no access from this ramp to Interstate 395. It emerges just just before the Exit 54/Hanover Street interchange. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Perspective from Interstate 395 north
Original Interstate 395 northbound reassurance shield with the state name. This shield is posted at the beginning of the flyover ramp from Interstate 95 southbound. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Passing under the highest flyover of the interchange, the southbound Interstate 395 to northbound Interstate 95 ramp. The downtown skyline sprawls in the background with the Baltimore World Trade Center taking center stage. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Northern Terminus - Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard - Baltimore, Maryland
Perspective from Interstate 395 north
Northbound Interstate 395 after the two ramps from Interstate 95 merge. There are two branches of Interstate 395: One to Howard Street and Downtown Baltimore, the other to Russell Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The split for the two branches occurs within one half mile. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Taking the Russell Street/Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard spur (the northwest spur) of Interstate 395 north. The off-ramp for Russell Street departs to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and PSINet Stadium before Interstate 395 descends to grade-level. Photo taken 10/12/01.
The end of the northwest spur of Interstate 395. Traffic continues northward as Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to working class residential areas west of downtown. A short distance to the north is the eastern terminus of the defunct Interstate 170 freeway. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Perspective from Interstate 395 south
Both spurs of Interstate 395 are signed with reassurance shields. This southbound shield with the state name is posted at the beginning of the Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard spur. The two spurs merge together one-half mile to the south and continue to Interstate 95. Visible to the right of the photograph is PSINet Stadium, home of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Photo taken 10/12/01.