Maryland Roads - I-695 - Mainline

mainline photos

Outer Loop

What's odd about this button copy is that it suggests a single exit for US 40 once upon a time, but looking back through Historic Aerials, there has always been a cloverleaf here. So I suppose both ramps were once signed as a single exit using just this one since-erased sign.

Ongoing work to untangle the tangled interchange with I-95 at Exit 33 - currently, the opposing roadways of each highway cross each other so that all eight ramps head straight from one highway to the other. You can see I-695 EB crossing the WB side in the first photo. These photos are of the future I-95 NB flyover ramp to I-695 WB, taken from the SB-WB ramp in August 2007.

In April 2008, the NB-WB flyover ramp is starting to look like a road instead of a modern Concretehenge.

A November 2007 run from northbound to westbound along I-695 (this is basically where it switches).

In April 2010, in plenty of time for the Baltimore Road Meet, the NB-WB flyover was open to travel, but still incomplete. The I-95 HOV lane is still under construction, but even after it opens, this ramp still won't connect to it. The final connections have been delayed indefinitely due to budget, so the green patches and stub ends will sit out here for many years and could become quasi-permanent. Not like Baltimore's never had stubs before.

Speaking of stubs, here are the original I-95 through roadways that used to cross over each other. Both photos look south, the first at the former SB lanes with a truncated left merge from I-695 WB, and the second along modern I-95 SB at the site of the former crossover with the I-95 NB bridge still on top. The roadways are still used for contractor staging during construction, and will probably be gone by the end of construction. But you never know. The HOV lane construction keeps I-95 traffic shifting all over the place as it heads toward I-895.

Construction speed limits don't need to be MUTCD compliant, but the fonts were laughable in this summer 2005 zone.

The ampersand sees occasional use around Maryland, which is far more often than in most states.

Creative uses of right arrows. As sharp as these turns may be, considering that one is exiting an Interstate, the arrows should not be pointing hard right (though it is attention-getting).

Button copy on the Exit 13 ramp.

EB at Exit 4 to I-97. If you're going to use the type of signs that are for assemblies, why put them on a green sign?
Inner Loop

The sky gets lighter as I drive over the Francis Scott Key Bridge (well, the higher I go, the better the angle to the sun). Dualizing the western approach to this bridge was the last step in upgrading the highway to I-695. Also, because the two main routes through Baltimore are tunnels, all of the through truck traffic is directed this way, which is another great reason to have dualized it.

The first painted shield I ever saw, three or four times later when I finally was able to capture it on "film", for Exit 4.

I'm fine with using the big first letter for directions, but then actually make the first letter bigger, not just higher.

Old signs, two with button copy and one stanchion that's just waiting to get taken down (I prefer the old signs, they have more space and it's better practice to tell about the next exit rather than list distances).

Lou Corsaro took the last two of these photos. In addition to being button copy (well, the first, new one is just there for the odd destination of Local Traffic), these show that Park & Ride was not the initial destination being considered, especially if you look at the ramp sign (the last one) where it's the only part of the sign not in button copy. I-70 was meant to continue into Baltimore Harbor, meeting I-95 near I-83. Naturally, it never made it close, so ends just to the east here. There's no real point in even signing the east direction as I-70, but old signs had to plan ahead just in case the route was finished.

The Exit 20 Reisterstown Road (MD 140) SPUI, as seen from the I-695 NB offramp. All left turns between Reisterstown and the I-695 ramps occur to the left of the center island, which is demarcated by pylons and signs with that weird triangle thingy. This setup makes U-turns really easy, and prevents queuing across the bridge from left-turning traffic.

Exit 25 non-reflective button copy; this follows in progression from a sign on I-83 (linked below), which has a ramp merging into this one prior to this sign. MD 139 begins on the north side of I-695 at a rotary, so even just having two lanes turn left may be considered overkill, but signing it MD 139 is certainly too much.

Why is Beltway white? Why is White Marsh off-center? Ask the birds, they've been there for awhile.

Thanks to untangling the northern I-95 interchange, all ramps from both highways now enter and leave from the right, whereas the EB-NB ramp (pertinent to this direction) used to be a left exit into a left entrance. Peculiarly, despite the massive reconstruction, I-695 still braids over and under itself, a remnant of when that allowed direct ramps for all movements in a 2-level interchange. But I really took this photo for the extra-pointy shield.

I-95 construction views, looking north from the new EB-NB flyover ramp, with the old, narrow carriageways still intact in the median and used for staging. This interchange was just the northern end of a long express toll lane project that included switching ramps at I-895 a few miles to the south. When an entire interchange with massive flyover structures and two new multi-lane roadways on the busiest highway in the nation (I-95 NB and SB) can be rebuilt faster than just adding two lanes in the middle of the road, you know how difficult a "simple" widening project can be.

Key Bridge from MD 158's western end.

Back to I-695 main page

Exit 4 to I-97
Exit 4 to US 301
Exit 11 or 33 to I-95
Exit 16 to I-70
Exit 18 to MD 26
Exit 20 to MD 140
Exit 23 to I-83
Exit 23 to MD 25
Exit 25 to MD 139
Exit 32 to US 1
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