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7/27/2012SHA OPENS NEW MERGE LANE ON I-695 NORTH AT LIBERTY ROAD; REOPENS RAMP FROM LIBERTY ROAD EAST TO I-695 NORTH
(July 27, 2012) – The State Highway Administration (SHA) is nearing completion of its $25 million project to replace the I-695 (Baltimore Beltway) bridge over MD 26 (Liberty Road) in northwestern Baltimore County.  After 10 p.m. Saturday night, July 28, weather permitting, SHA’s contractor will reconfigure pavement markings to create the final traffic pattern on northbound I-695 (Inner Loop), including a new auxiliary/merge lane at the interchange. At the same time, crews will re-open the right-turn ramp from eastbound Liberty to northbound I-695.  This ramp has been closed for one year to allow crews to remove and replace the I-695 Bridge over Liberty Road.  The temporary double left-turn lanes from eastbound MD 26 to northbound I-695 will be removed.
 
Making these changes will require crews to temporarily close lanes on both roads Saturday night and Sunday morning. The traffic pattern switch on I-695 will begin Saturday night, with a single left-lane closure along northbound I-695 beginning at 10 p.m. and a double left-lane closure beginning at midnight. The double lane closure will be in effect until 11 a.m. Sunday, July 29.
 
The traffic pattern switch on MD 26 will begin Sunday morning, with a single lane closure along eastbound MD 26 in effect between 3 a.m. and 11 a.m.  SHA advises commuters on eastbound MD 26 to look ahead for the new traffic pattern on Monday morning and to keep to the right to reach northbound I-695 toward Towson.
In case of inclement weather, the traffic pattern changes will take place the next possible weekend.
 
Construction work at the interchange will continue with pavement repair and resurfacing work on both I-695 and MD 26, construction of a new drainage pond at the interchange, and landscaping. Temporary lane and ramp closures may occur at any time during off-peak travel hours until the project is complete this fall.
 
The I-695 bridge replacement project, which began spring 2010, will improve safety and mobility for more than 186,700 motorists traveling this section of I-695 each day.  Built in 1961 and widened in 1968 and 1979, the structurally deficient bridge has been removed and replaced in several stages of construction. This project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  SHA’s contractor for the bridge project is Concrete General, Inc. of Gaithersburg, Md. 
 
While SHA and its partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes. Stay alert – look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don't follow too closely. Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For everyone!
 
Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information! Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit www.md511.org  for current travel information. Sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the website. Remember to use 511 safely – Maryland law prohibits hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.
 
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