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Author Topic: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)  (Read 21706 times)

cpzilliacus

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I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« on: November 07, 2014, 09:24:32 AM »

MdTA has a big project coming up on I-895 with the replacement of the Canton Viaduct, so I thought it might deserve its own thread. 

I-895 Canton Viaduct Replacement Open Houses

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Wednesday
November 12, 2014
Dundalk High School
1901 Delvale Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21222

Monday
November 17, 2014
Patterson High School
100 Kane Street
Baltimore, MD 21224

Thursday
November 20, 2014
Brooklyn Park Middle School
200 Hammonds Lane
Brooklyn, MD 21225
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 04:05:57 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 09:29:07 AM »

Good thing they will address the viaduct, the concrete deck on that road is in horrible shape. Tearing it down and rebuilding it is going to be quite a lengthy process I imagine. Will definitely affect my trips home in the coming years.

cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 09:32:56 AM »

Good thing they will address the viaduct, the concrete deck on that road is in horrible shape. Tearing it down and rebuilding it is going to be quite a lengthy process I imagine. Will definitely affect my trips home in the coming years.

Easily the worst section of Maryland's toll-maintained highway network.

Since a 100% shutdown is not likely to happen (though total shutdowns in the overnight hours are probably acceptable) and because the viaduct at its north end (where it passes under I-95) cannot easily be widened, I am curious what strategies the MdTA will come up with to replace the viaduct while keeping traffic moving.
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Laura

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 10:28:14 AM »

I'll be going to the Monday night one at Patterson High School. I am curious what their strategies and timeline will be.
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TheOneKEA

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2014, 06:20:21 PM »

I am very curious to see what the MdTA proposals are for this viaduct. I used it quite regularly earlier this year and it is indeed in awful condition.

I would not be surprised if I-895 was fully closed for at least a few weekends, but I doubt that any such closures will happen until the re decking of the I-95 viaducts is finished.
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SteveG1988

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 10:28:31 AM »

The question is, do you increase capacity both ways, or just leaving the tunnel? Since the tunnel itself is just two lanes, do you keep the viaduct 4 lanes, and just give it wider shoulders, with potential to convert them into lanes?
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2014, 12:26:44 PM »

Unless the jersey barriers in the median are removable, I don't think even a temporary Super-2 on that stretch of I-895 will do. Otherwise, half of the viaduct could've been kept open while the other half is taken out and worked on, a la the Wilson Bridge. However, if the last major closure (late 1980s, after the Fort McHenry Tunnel had opened to traffic for the first time) is any indication, a complete shutdown would be the best option.
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mtantillo

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 01:06:35 PM »

I seem to remember reading on Toll Roads News a while back that the preferred option is to use a zipper barrier and replace it one lane at a time. So there would be two lanes in the peak direction and only one in the offpeak. Outside of rush hours, my guess is that it would operate as 2 lanes northbound/1 lane southbound. This because they would likely have to shut a NB lane at the toll plaza with only one lane through the tunnel (to avoid sudden traffic stops inside the tunnel where sight distance is limited), so you'll have a much shorter/simpler work zone if you close a SB lane.

Either way, traffic will likely be okay in the direction with 2 lanes, and theoretically won't be too too bad in the direction with 1 lane (since it is off peak).
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SteveG1988

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 06:46:50 PM »

Unless the jersey barriers in the median are removable, I don't think even a temporary Super-2 on that stretch of I-895 will do. Otherwise, half of the viaduct could've been kept open while the other half is taken out and worked on, a la the Wilson Bridge. However, if the last major closure (late 1980s, after the Fort McHenry Tunnel had opened to traffic for the first time) is any indication, a complete shutdown would be the best option.

The ultimate question is...why not just have it be a one lane tunnel each way, time the viaduct replacement with a tunnel refurb? Redo the NB side along with the tunnel, or even just do it like the pulaski skyway, force one direction to use alt routes, such as the I-95 tunnel, yes it would require some back tracking, but it would allow them to do it faster.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2014, 12:27:04 PM »

Baltimore Sun: Five-year construction project on I-895 north of Harbor Tunnel to begin 2016

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A major, $290 million construction project to replace a large elevated section of Interstate 895 north of the Harbor Tunnel will begin in 2016 and last for five years — causing considerable traffic congestion in the process.

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The work will consist of demolishing and reconstructing a 3,300-foot elevated stretch of the highway, replacement of the ramp from the highway to Holabird Avenue, and repairs to tunnel roadway approaches and retaining walls, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

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Major construction, which will occur day and night, is expected to begin in the fall of 2016, and last through the summer of 2021. Existing lanes will be narrowed from 12 feet to 11 feet and shoulders will be closed.

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The bulk of the work will be broken into four stages over four years. During those four years, one of the highway's four lanes will be closed at all times — with a different lane targeted during each year.

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During morning traffic peaks, two lanes will be designated for southbound traffic, and one lane for northbound traffic. During afternoon peaks, two lanes will be northbound and one southbound.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2014, 01:01:37 PM »

Any pics of the proposals?  I know Laura said she was going to try to make the meeting.

For a 60 year old roadway, sounds like a lot of work.  I could understand the elevated roadway needing to be rehabbed, but taking out all the piers as well?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2014, 01:05:44 PM »

Unless the jersey barriers in the median are removable, I don't think even a temporary Super-2 on that stretch of I-895 will do. Otherwise, half of the viaduct could've been kept open while the other half is taken out and worked on, a la the Wilson Bridge. However, if the last major closure (late 1980s, after the Fort McHenry Tunnel had opened to traffic for the first time) is any indication, a complete shutdown would be the best option.

The ultimate question is...why not just have it be a one lane tunnel each way, time the viaduct replacement with a tunnel refurb? Redo the NB side along with the tunnel, or even just do it like the pulaski skyway, force one direction to use alt routes, such as the I-95 tunnel, yes it would require some back tracking, but it would allow them to do it faster.

MdTA does not like to run the tunnels in two-way operation except in the overnight hours. Even overnight, there have been some pretty nasty head-on crashes in the tunnel (remember the BHT has a relatively narrow pre-Interstate design, which is why semitrailers over 96" wide are not allowed, and why the maximum height is only 13' 6").
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seicer

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2014, 02:05:40 PM »

Via http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/Meeting_Schedules/Meeting_Minutes/Capital_Committee/Cap_Comm_Meeting_Minutes_07-11-2013.pdf

"Replacement of the Canton Viaduct bridge on I-895, MDTA’s only structurally deficient bridge, is currently proposed to take place in 2 construction stages beginning in Spring
2016 and lasting for a total duration of 2-1/2 years. For the duration of the project, I-895 will be reduced from 2 lanes to 1 lane in each direction and substantial traffic impacts and diversions are anticipated. The proposed construction staging is the result of Engineering’s detailed evaluation of alternatives to reduce the construction duration,  reduce traffic impacts, avoid concurrent traffic impacts to multiple harbor crossings, and improve the final structure quality. The recent experience during the K-Truss construction project where 1 lane in each direction was maintained with respect to traffic impacts was a main supporter for the 2 stage construction option. However, due to the magnitude of the project, the three construction alternatives are being revisited to ensure the optimum alternative is selected."

"The three alternatives include the previously presented 4 stage construction, 2 stage construction (currently identified as the optimum alternative) and an off alignment construction. Additional investigation will  be performed to quantify the traffic impacts on BHT and other Facilities during  construction and this data will be compared to current traffic delays. The current budget in the MDTA’s CTP is approximately $182 million. "
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2014, 09:08:54 PM »

Is shutting down all of I-895 possible? Given the limited interchanges and two alternates, it might be a cost effective and safer way of doing the job.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2014, 10:05:17 PM »

Is shutting down all of I-895 possible? Given the limited interchanges and two alternates, it might be a cost effective and safer way of doing the job.

Probably not.  The 2013 AADT on the BHT is between 68,000 and 69,000 -  that is (IMO) too much traffic to detour, though there is a decent amount of capacity available crossing the F.S. Key Bridge (Md. 695 or I-695), 2013 AADT between 29,000 and 30,000.  The Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) also has some capacity at the tunnel itself, 2013 AADT between 119,000 and 120,000, but perhaps not north of the tunnel, where some sections of I-95 are only three lanes each way (6 total).

There's also the matter of the MdTA Trust Agreement.  Not sure that the holders of MdTA bonds would be very pleased with the total closure of a major revenue-generating facility (even though the two closest alternate routes are also MdTA toll crossings).
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2014, 11:12:47 PM »

Yeah, once you start detouring everyone, people will quickly discover that I-695 north of the city is free, even with more traffic. MdTA doesn't want that. I think in off peak hours, a full closure could work, but definitely not during the peak. The traffic coming in and out of Baltimore during rush hour depends on lots of the traffic bypassing downtown on 895 to "clear the way" for local traffic on 95.

695 over the Key Bridge is not a bad ride at all, maybe only 8-10 minutes longer than 95 or 895.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2014, 01:23:46 AM »

Yeah, once you start detouring everyone, people will quickly discover that I-695 north of the city is free, even with more traffic. MdTA doesn't want that.

Agreed.  I do not like driving I-695 across the "top" of Baltimore - seems to take forever as compared to I-95 or I-895, but still, I don't think they want to "teach" people a "free" shunpike route like that.

I think in off peak hours, a full closure could work, but definitely not during the peak. The traffic coming in and out of Baltimore during rush hour depends on lots of the traffic bypassing downtown on 895 to "clear the way" for local traffic on 95.

I-895 is definitely a good "bail" route (for those that know about it headed north or south through Baltimore).  It is also the  better route for auto traffic (most commercial vehicles are too wide or too long for I-895) headed through Baltimore to and from I-97 to the south.

695 over the Key Bridge is not a bad ride at all, maybe only 8-10 minutes longer than 95 or 895.

I agree.  Only time I don't like the FSK is when winds are blowing hard.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 01:26:45 AM by cpzilliacus »
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Laura

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2014, 07:56:24 AM »


Yeah, once you start detouring everyone, people will quickly discover that I-695 north of the city is free, even with more traffic. MdTA doesn't want that.

Agreed.  I do not like driving I-695 across the "top" of Baltimore - seems to take forever as compared to I-95 or I-895, but still, I don't think they want to "teach" people a "free" shunpike route like that.

You mean going around the west side? That's about a 15 minute shunpike without factoring in traffic. Don't even bother trying during any peak hours.


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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2014, 08:12:19 AM »

Unless the jersey barriers in the median are removable, I don't think even a temporary Super-2 on that stretch of I-895 will do. Otherwise, half of the viaduct could've been kept open while the other half is taken out and worked on, a la the Wilson Bridge. However, if the last major closure (late 1980s, after the Fort McHenry Tunnel had opened to traffic for the first time) is any indication, a complete shutdown would be the best option.

The ultimate question is...why not just have it be a one lane tunnel each way, time the viaduct replacement with a tunnel refurb? Redo the NB side along with the tunnel, or even just do it like the pulaski skyway, force one direction to use alt routes, such as the I-95 tunnel, yes it would require some back tracking, but it would allow them to do it faster.

MdTA does not like to run the tunnels in two-way operation except in the overnight hours. Even overnight, there have been some pretty nasty head-on crashes in the tunnel (remember the BHT has a relatively narrow pre-Interstate design, which is why semitrailers over 96" wide are not allowed, and why the maximum height is only 13' 6").

How wide is the tunnel compared to the middle tube of the Lincoln (NJ-NY) Tunnel, which runs 2 way traffic with the buses each day?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2014, 10:34:27 AM »


Yeah, once you start detouring everyone, people will quickly discover that I-695 north of the city is free, even with more traffic. MdTA doesn't want that.

Agreed.  I do not like driving I-695 across the "top" of Baltimore - seems to take forever as compared to I-95 or I-895, but still, I don't think they want to "teach" people a "free" shunpike route like that.

You mean going around the west side? That's about a 15 minute shunpike without factoring in traffic. Don't even bother trying during any peak hours.

That's it - past the 83's and I-795, back to I-70 to U.S. 29, or back to I-95 on the southwest side.

Seems to take much more than 15 minutes  - it is not fun at all during peak periods (it can be awful on weekends too).
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2014, 10:40:09 AM »

How wide is the tunnel compared to the middle tube of the Lincoln (NJ-NY) Tunnel, which runs 2 way traffic with the buses each day?

I don't know the dimensions of that tube - but I do know that the drivers of those buses are professionals, and I think they are better-able to handle a two-way tunnel crossing like that than many "normal" drivers.

Tube dimensions (from the Port Authority here).
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2014, 11:18:25 AM »

Is shutting down all of I-895 possible? Given the limited interchanges and two alternates, it might be a cost effective and safer way of doing the job.

Probably not.  The 2013 AADT on the BHT is between 68,000 and 69,000 -  that is (IMO) too much traffic to detour, though there is a decent amount of capacity available crossing the F.S. Key Bridge (Md. 695 or I-695), 2013 AADT between 29,000 and 30,000.  The Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) also has some capacity at the tunnel itself, 2013 AADT between 119,000 and 120,000, but perhaps not north of the tunnel, where some sections of I-95 are only three lanes each way (6 total).

Judging from Google Earth, I-95 has a left shoulder north of the tunnel. What about restriping that into a temporary traffic lane? If you combine that with the spare capacity of the Key Bridge, it could be able to process the detoured traffic. I suppose you can save a lot of money by shortening construction time from 5 to 2 years to replace the viaduct.

cpzilliacus

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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2014, 11:33:37 AM »

Judging from Google Earth, I-95 has a left shoulder north of the tunnel. What about restriping that into a temporary traffic lane? If you combine that with the spare capacity of the Key Bridge, it could be able to process the detoured traffic. I suppose you can save a lot of money by shortening construction time from 5 to 2 years to replace the viaduct.

MdTA does have plans to make I-95 a continuous 8 lane roadway from the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza (on the north side of the crossing), but I don't think they contemplate doing it on a "temporary" basis. 

I agree that a total closure would allow the project to be completed much more quickly, but I still suspect that the bondholders (and their trustee) would not like that.

From my perspective, making the Canton Viaduct a Super-2 type road for the duration of the project would speed things up, though there would be some delays, especially during the periods of peak demand on the crossing.
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2014, 04:03:28 PM »

Another option is to shut down the road in one direction ala Pulaski Skyway. Closing it northbound wouldn't be as disruptive (no lane drop on I-95 north).

I have driven the center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel in two way operation heading back to NJ, it didn't seem that bad, but there wasn't a high speed freeway on each end so speeds were reasonably sane.
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Re: I-895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway)
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2014, 07:53:32 PM »


Yeah, once you start detouring everyone, people will quickly discover that I-695 north of the city is free, even with more traffic. MdTA doesn't want that.

Agreed.  I do not like driving I-695 across the "top" of Baltimore - seems to take forever as compared to I-95 or I-895, but still, I don't think they want to "teach" people a "free" shunpike route like that.

You mean going around the west side? That's about a 15 minute shunpike without factoring in traffic. Don't even bother trying during any peak hours.


I find US 40 to 295 or 395 faster than the long way.

 


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