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Crash closes I-695 outer loop in Balto. Co.

All outer loop lanes of Interstate 695 were closed Friday afternoon in Baltimore County after a piece of construction equipment fell off the back of a southbound flatbed truck near Old Harford Road, the State Highway Administration said.

One left-hand lane had reopened about 4:45 p.m., according to Maryland State Police, but traffic was still crawling. Two lanes were still closed at 8 p.m. and engineers were at the site inspecting the bridge that holds up Old Harford Road as it goes over the beltway.

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Traffic had reopened on old Harford Road, said David Buck, a Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman. "We are not concerned about the overall integrity of the bridge at all," Buck said, but he added that it was necessary to make repairs to a small section before normal traffic could resume on the beltway.

"Right now the traffic is really ugly," said Charlie Gischlar, a SHA spokesman at about 4:15 p.m. "It's really ugly."

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Inner loop traffic was also being affected. "It's a big rubber neck factor," Gischlar said.

The incident occurred about 3:30 p.m., when officials believe the piece of construction equipment fell off the flatbed truck into the highway's two right-hand lanes after striking a beam of the Old Harford Road overpass, Gischlar said.

"We can't open up anything until they look at it and say, 'It's OK,'" Gischlar said.

There were no injuries involved, the state police said.

The state is in the midst of a $34.5 million project to replace the overpass in question, install auxiliary lanes and reconstruct off-ramps in the area. The incident Friday occurred "right in the middle of our work zone," Gischlar said, "but it wasn't related" to the work zone.

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