The Maryland Transportation Authority is launching a road resurfacing project on Interstate 95 south of the Fort McHenry Tunnel that is expected to force regular lane closings and detours over the next 18 months.
The $12.4 million project affects a 2-mile stretch of I-95 between the city line and a point just north of Washington Boulevard, as well as the Caton and Joh Avenue overpasses. According to authority spokeswoman Teri Moss, the state gave the contractor the green light Monday to begin work, and the first lane closings are expected Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and Monday at the same times.
Though the authority plans to keep four travel lanes open on I-95 during peak travel times, it said motorists should expect frequent lane closings on the main roadway at midday, night and on weekends. Starting this fall, the parallel ramp between Caton Avenue and Russell Street will be closed for about two months. The authority also expects periodic closings and detours at the Caton Avenue (Exit 50) and Washington Boulevard (Exit 51) ramps.
The bridge that takes Caton Avenue over I-95 will be narrowed from three lanes in each direction to two during the project, which is expected to be completed in late 2011 or early 2012. The Joh Avenue bridge over I-95 will be reduced from two lanes in each direction to one.
Moss said that generally lane closures will be scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays. She said weekend lane closings may run later in the morning. However, there will be no closures allowed from two hours before until two hours after stadium events.
The work will begin this week on Joh Avenue and on a storm water retention pond.
In addition to the resurfacing work, the authority plans to repair the tall light poles between the city line and the southern entrance to the tunnel. Old signage will be replaced, and electronic message signs will be installed in both directions between the southern interchange with the Beltway and Russell Street on I-95.
Also included in the project are drain improvements, safety upgrades and repairs to the Caton and Joh avenue bridges.
The work is one of several projects taking place in the elevated parts of I-95 leading to and from the Fort McHenry Tunnel, which opened in 1985. The authority will begin another project before mid-2011 to reseal the deck and perform joint repairs on Interstate 395, the spur leading from I-95 to downtown Baltimore.