Fort McHenry Tunnel

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Fort McHenry Tunnel
Fort McHenry Tunnel Bore 2.jpg
Southbound tunnel, Bore 2
Overview
Location Baltimore Harbor
Coordinates 39°15′39.2″N 76°34′36.3″W / 39.260889°N 76.576750°W / 39.260889; -76.576750Coordinates: 39°15′39.2″N 76°34′36.3″W / 39.260889°N 76.576750°W / 39.260889; -76.576750
Route I‑95
Start Locust Point
End Canton
Operation
Opened November 23, 1985; 28 years ago (1985-11-23)
Owner Maryland Transportation Authority
Traffic Automotive
Character Highway
Toll $4.00
Vehicles per day 115,000
Technical
Construction 1980-1985
Length 1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Number of lanes 8 lanes in 4 tubes
Operating speed 55 miles per hour (89 km/h)
Lowest elevation 107 feet (33 m) below harbor water surface
Tunnel clearance 12.5 feet (3.8 m)
Width 26 feet (7.9 m)
Route map
Route map of the Fort McHenry Tunnel

The Fort McHenry Tunnel is a four-tube, bi-directional tunnel that carries traffic on Interstate 95 underneath the Baltimore Harbor. The lowest point in the Interstate System under water, the tunnel is named for nearby Fort McHenry.

The tunnel, which opened on November 23, 1985, closed a gap in I-95 between Maine and Florida. [1] At the time of its opening it was the most expensive underwater tunnel project in the United States, but that figure has since been surpassed by the Big Dig project in Boston.[2]

The Fort McHenry Tunnel was constructed from June 1980 to November 1985, at a cost of about $750 million. The tunnel's annual traffic in 2009 was 43.4 million vehicles. As of July 1, 2013, the toll rate for cars is $4.00, paid in either direction. Vehicles with more than two axles pay additional amounts, up to $30.00 for six axles.[1]

Location[edit]

Northbound trip through tunnel
(View in high quality)

The tunnel crosses the Patapsco River, just south of Fort McHenry and connects the Locust Point and Canton areas of Baltimore City.

Design and construction[edit]

View of entrance to tunnel

The Fort McHenry Tunnel was opened on time and under its budget, and it continues to be a vital transportation link in the Mid-Atlantic region. Soon after the Fort McHenry Tunnel opened, the nearby Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and Interstate 895, which had opened to traffic in 1957, were closed for extensive rehabilitation.

Before and during the Civil War, a tunnel had been dug from the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Camden Station south to the north side of Federal Hill, and then to Fort McHenry. During the construction of the Fort McHenry Tunnel, some houses in the Federal Hill neighborhood collapsed when that brick-lined tunnel collapsed.[citation needed] That tunnel was probably built by the U.S. Army and fell from use after the Civil War.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Fort McHenry Tunnel." Fact sheet.
  2. ^ DCRoads.net. "Fort McHenry Tunnel: Historic Overview." Accessed 2011-07-11.

External links[edit]