Interstate 895 Maryland

Routing

Interstate 895 constitutes a nearly 15 mile route parallel to Interstate 95 through the city of Baltimore. Known as the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway, the Interstate is a toll road with the exception of the stretch between Exit 12 (Lombard Street) and the north end at Interstate 95. I-895 provides a viable alternative to the often congested Fort McHenry Tunnel of Interstate 95, with the exception that the Harbor Tunnel is prohibited to trucks because of a 13 foot 16 inch height restriction at the Patapsco River under crossing.

Cash toll rates at the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel increased from $1.00 to $2.00 per passenger vehicle between June 2003 and 2004 and again to $3.00 on November 1, 2011. A further increase to $4 per passenger vehicle took take place on July 1, 2013. Discounts were applied to Maryland based E-ZPass accounts on July 1, 2015 (see the toll schedule here). 1957 tolls were set at 40 cents.

$290 million in construction from 2016 to 2021 replaces the structurally deficient Canton Viaduct of I-895 north of the Harbor Tunnel. The 60-year old structure will be razed and replaced with a new 3,300 foot roadway meeting modern safety standards. Additional work in the four-stage project replaces the Holabird Avenue off-ramp and involves repairs to the tunnel roadway approaches and retaining walls. I-895 will stay open during work, but with reduced capacity and 11 foot wide lanes.1

A separate $48.5 million project commenced on August 18, 2016 to repair the Interstate 895 bridge across the Patapsco River Flats. Staged closures through summer 2019 will result in two-way traffic on southbound then northbound as crews replace the bridge deck and superstructure and reduce the number of bridge joints. Work affects I-895 between Exit 4 (MD 295) and Exit 6 (I-895 Spur).2 Follow @MDTA on twitter with the hastag #I895bmore for project updates.

History

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel opened to traffic on November 29, 1957 at a cost of $130 million. The Tunnel Thruway, including the K-Truss Bridge over the CSX Railroad yard, opened west to U.S. 1 (Washington Boulevard) and east to U.S. 40 (Pulaski Highway) in 1957.3 This includes the Canton Viaduct, which cost $6.6 million and took two years to build.1 A northward extension to the then-Northeast Expressway (JFK Memorial Highway) at the Baltimore city line followed in 1963. 1973 work saw the completion of the Thruway to Interstate 95 at Elkridge.3

The Harbor Tunnel Thruway was the default route of Interstate 95 until it was completed through the Fort McHenry Tunnel on November 23, 1985. Preceding that opening, Maryland officials requested the previously undesignated route to be added to the Interstate system. Interstate 895 shields began appearing in the early 1980s.3

Speed limits along the portion of Interstate 895 west of the Baltimore city line were increased to 65 miles per hour by 2010. Work at the north end between late 2007 and 2011 reconfigured the wye interchange so that movements between Interstates 95 and 895 now merge or depart from the right. This work was undertaken as part of the $1.1 billion, multi-year project to build the Interstate 95 Express Lanes, which added toll lanes to I-95 between I-895 and Maryland 43 (White Marsh Boulevard). The new lanes opened to traffic on December 6, 2014.4

Interstate 895 Spur

A two-pronged spur of Interstate 895 connects the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway with both Interstate 97 (Glen Burnie Bypass) south and Maryland 2 (Ritchie Highway) south in Anne Arundel County. These roadways opened in 1957 to feed traffic to the Harbor Tunnel from the Glen Burnie area and Baltimore Beltway. The Maryland State Highway Administration classifies these spur routes as Interstate 895A and 895B, though neither are signed in the field. Instead signs posted along the freeways simply refer to the routes they connect with.

Highway Guides

Traffic Cameras

Southern Terminus - Interstate 95 - Elkridge, Maryland
Perspective from Interstate 895 south
Interstate 895 (Harbor Tunnel Thruway) straddles wetlands and industrial areas along the Patapsco River from the Baltimore Beltway to Exit 1 with U.S. 1 (Washington Boulevard) south. Generally paralleling I-95, U.S. 1 travels south to Elkridge en route to Laurel and Beltsville. Photo taken 10/12/14.
Interstate 195 (Metropolitan Boulevard) passes over I-895 south as Exit 1 departs for U.S. 1 (Washington Boulevard) to Elkridge. The wye interchange here represents the pre-1973 end of the Harbor Tunnel Thruway. Photo taken 10/12/14.
Turning more west, drivers on I-895 south cross over the Patapsco River to enter Howard County. The remaining mile of the Harbor Tunnel Thruway reduces to a single lane through to the wye interchange with Interstate 95 south. No signs are posted making the end or transition to I-95. Photo taken 10/12/14.
Perspective from Interstate 95 north
One half mile ahead of Interstate 895 (Harbor Tunnel Thruway) on I-95 north in eastern Howard County. There are no northbound exits from I-895 until after the K-Truss Bridge and adjacent toll plaza.
This overhead replaced a ground-level sign by 2010. Photo taken 12/21/12.
Entering the wye interchange (Exit 46) with Interstate 895 north on I-95 north. Interstate 195 (Metropolitan Boulevard) joins I-95 with BWI Airport and Catonsville next while the Thruway travels eight miles to the Harbor Tunnel toll plaza. Photo taken 12/21/12.
Northern Terminus - Interstate 95 - Baltimore, Maryland
Perspective from Interstate 895 north
Crossing Herring Run, Interstate 895 separates in 0.4 miles for ramps to both the I-95 Express Lanes toward White Marsh and the Interstate 95 mainline to Wilmington, Philadelphia and New York. Photo taken 12/21/12.
Ramps join Moravia Road with Interstate 895 as the Express lane ramps separate. There are no remaining exits from the Harbor Tunnel Thruway north. Photo taken 12/21/12.
A wye interchange connects the ending I-895 north with Interstate 95 at the Baltimore County line. The freeway advances east to become the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway through Harford and Cecil Counties.
The I-95 Express Lane flyover drops onto the left side of I-95 north here as well. The toll lanes travel eight miles to merge with the mainline beyond Maryland 43 (Exit 67). Photo taken 12/21/12.
Perspective from Interstate 95 south
Two miles ahead of the split with Interstate 895 (Harbor Tunnel Thruway) along I-95 south. Construction completed by fall 2011 shifted the forthcoming wye interchange from a left-hand ramp to I-895 to the right. Photo taken 10/12/14.
Approaching the Chesaco Avenue overpass, the four lanes of Interstate 95 south partition with three continuing to the Fort McHenry Tunnel and two for the Harbor Tunnel via I-895. Photo taken 10/12/14.
Interstate 895 provides a good alternative to I-95 for motorists heading south to Washington. Guide signs however reference Annapolis instead for the I-895 Spur connection to Interstate 97 near Glen Burnie. The toll road also connects with Moravia Road and U.S. 40 (Pulaski Highway) nearby. Photo taken 10/12/14.
A lengthy flyover departs to the left from the ending I-95 Express Lanes as Exit 62 leaves the Interstate 95 mainline for I-895. Interstates 95 and 895 cross paths again prior to their Patapsco River tunnels, but without direct access to one another. Photo taken 10/12/14.

Sources:

  1. "Five-year construction project on I-895 north of Harbor Tunnel to begin 2016." The Baltimore Sun, November 13, 2014.
  2. "Major I-895 bridge project underway." WTOP, June 19, 2016.
  3. Harbor Tunnel Thruway (I-895) @ DCRoads.net.
  4. "Express toll lanes on I-95 north of Baltimore set to open Dec. 6." The Baltimore Sun, November 14, 2014.

Page Updated July 21, 2016.

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Additional Info
Mileage

State Maryland
Mileage 11.44
Cities Baltimore
Junctions I-95, I-195, I-695, I-97, I-95, I-95
Source: December 31, 2016 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-895 Maryland Annual Average Daily Traffic

County From: To: AADT Composite
Howard/
Baltimore
I- 95 Exit 1/ U.S. 1 11,825
Baltimore Exit 1/ U.S. 1 Exit 3/ I-695 14,775
Baltimore Exit 3/ I-695 Exit 4/ MD 295 17,975
Baltimore Exit 4/ MD 295 Exit 6/ I-895B (Spur) 31,375
Baltimore/
Anne Arundel
Exit 6/ I-895 Spur Exit 7/ MD 2 55,275
Anne Arundel/
Baltimore City
Exit 7/ MD 2 Exit 8 & 9/ Frankfurst Av Childs St 59,075
Baltimore City Exit 8 & 9/ Frankfurst Av Childs St Exit 10/ Holabird Av 67,260
Baltimore City Exit 10/ Holabird Av Exit 11AB/ Boston / O'Donnell Sts 65,375
Baltimore City Exit 11AB/ Boston / O'Donnell Sts Eastern Av 58,975
Baltimore City Eastern Av Exit 12/ Lombard St 54,775
Baltimore City Exit 12/ Lombard St Exit 13/ U.S. 40 52,475
Baltimore City Exit 13/ U.S. 40 Exit 14/ Moravia Rd 49,175
Baltimore City Exit 14/ Moravia Rd I-95 58,375
Source: 2002 AADTS Report (Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration - Highway Information Services Division)
The unnumbered Harbor Tunnel Thruway - 1966 Maryland Official Highway Map
The Harbor Tunnel Thruway provided a direct connection to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, but was never formally considered a part of Interstate 95. Sequential exit numbers on the toll road were unusual in that they increased both north and south from the Harbor Tunnel.
Interstate 895 on the 1983-84 Maryland Official Highway Map
The Harbor Tunnel Thruway provided the main route for I-95 through traffic across the city of Baltimore until the Fort McHenry Tunnel opened to traffic on November 23, 1985.