Baltimore Harbor Tunnel

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Baltimore Harbor Tunnel
2016-08-12 15 49 22 View north along Interstate 895 (Baltimore Harbor Tunnel) in Baltimore City, Maryland.jpg
Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, traveling northbound on I-895
LocationPatapsco River, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Coordinates39°15′15″N 76°34′16″W / 39.25417°N 76.57111°W / 39.25417; -76.57111Coordinates: 39°15′15″N 76°34′16″W / 39.25417°N 76.57111°W / 39.25417; -76.57111
Route I-895
OpenedNovember 29, 1957; 61 years ago (1957-11-29)[1]
Toll$4 (both directions)
Length7,650 ft.[citation needed] (2,332 meters) (1.45 mi.)
No. of lanes4
Tunnel clearance14 ft
Route map
Route map of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel is a pair of two-lane road tunnels carrying Interstate 895—the Harbor Tunnel Thruway—under the Patapsco River southeast of downtown Baltimore, Maryland, United States.


The southwestern portal of the tunnel
The northeastern portal of the tunnel

The pair of tunnels is 1.45 mi. (7,650 feet (2.33 km)) long, stretching from the south shore of the Patapsco River to the north shore near Dundalk. Each tunnel is 22 feet (6.7 m) wide and 14 feet (4.3 m) high, and accommodates two lanes in each direction. The maximum speed within the tunnel is 50 miles per hour (80 km/h).

Both portals have ventilation buildings, with a total of 32 fans in place to replace the air within the tunnels, which is drawn in through the tunnel floors and exhausted through the tunnel ceilings. The tubes themselves range from a depth of 50 feet (15.2 m) below ground to 101 feet (30.8 m) below ground.

As of July 1, 2015, the toll rate for cars is $4.00 cash or $3.00 E-ZPass, paid in either direction. Vehicles with more than two axles pay additional amounts, up to $30.00 for six axles.[2]


The tunnel and approaches were designed by Singstad and Baillie, a New York-based engineering firm specializing in tunnel design, in association with the J. E. Greiner Company, a local Baltimore-based firm. The tunnel was formed out of twenty-one 310-foot (94 m) sections individually submerged into the harbor and secured with rocks and backfill; the first of these tunnel segments was sunk on April 11, 1956.[3] The remainder of the tunnel was constructed using the cut-and-cover method, extending from the submerged tubes to the north and south portals.

The tunnel opened on November 29, 1957 (along with most of the Thruway),[4] nearly two months ahead of schedule. At the time, the toll was forty cents.[1] The day the tunnel was opened, it experienced heavy traffic for the first time as thousands of motorists traveled north to Philadelphia to watch the 1957 Army–Navy football game.

Shortly after the nearby Fort McHenry Tunnel opened in 1985 — making up the final link of Interstate 95 in Maryland — the Harbor Tunnel was closed in phases for extensive rehabilitation. It was fully reopened by 1990.

In November, 2007, the 50th anniversary of the tunnel serving travelers was observed.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Baltimore Opens Harbor Tunnel". The News and Courier. Charleston, South Carolina: via Google News Archive. November 29, 1957. p. 2-A.
  2. ^ "MdTA toll rates: Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel and Francis Scott Key Bridge" Accessed 2016-07-26.
  3. ^ Harbor Tunnel Thruway (I-895)
  4. ^ Maryland Transportation Authority, "The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel" (PDF). (168 KB)
  5. ^ "Baltimore Harbor Tunnel is 50". TOLLROADSnews. 2007-11-29. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2007-12-26. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Harbor Tunnel marks 50th anniversary". Baltimore Sun. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2007-11-21.

External links[edit]

Media related to Baltimore Harbor Tunnel at Wikimedia Commons