The downtown traffic woes resulting from the rush to get the city's roads ready for the Baltimore Grand Prix race on Labor Day weekend are going to get worse before they get better.
The Baltimore Department of Transportation says part of Conway Street, the downtown gateway that has already been the site of extensive lane closures, will shut down entirely for about two weeks starting at 5 a.m. Monday as work on the project intensifies.
After that, some race-related road work could linger into late July or early August, city Transportation Director Khalil Zaied said.
Zaied said most of the work following completion of the asphalt work on Conway involves wheelchair ramps on Pratt and Light streets and will be less disruptive than the work that has preceded it. The ramp work, he said, will require the shutdown of only one lane instead of the two that have been closed at many times in recent months.
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. has wrapped up the gas line work along Conway Street that has contributed to the lane closings that have disrupted traffic in recent weeks, Zaied said. Officials said the utility is expected to complete its long-running work at Light and Lee streets at the end of next week.
The city transportation chief also said that talks with the Maryland Transit Administration over the crossing on the light rail tracks on Conway Street at Camden Yards are "very close" to an end.
The Conway closing announced Friday will affect eastbound and westbound traffic between Charles and Light streets. In addition, the road work that has been taking place on southbound Light Street will shift to the lanes that had remained open.
Westbound Conway Street traffic will be detoured onto Lee Street and then Charles. Eastbound traffic will be detoured onto Charles.
The city is suggesting that travelers heading into downtown from the south take Howard Street to Baltimore Street or take Martin Luther King Boulevard to Baltimore Street, Mulberry Street or Druid Hill Avenue.
Outbound commuters are urged to take Lombard Street to Howard or to use Fayette Street to reach Martin Luther King.