Expect tie-ups as I-97 lanes open near BWI


Motorists traveling north on Interstate 97 on Saturday can expect traffic to be tied in knots as road crews open three new lanes near Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Single northbound lanes of I-97 will be closed from just south of Route 100 to just north of Route 648 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. as crews move barriers and realign lanes. Southbound traffic in that area will not be affected.

Chuck Brown, a State Highway Administration spokesman, said yesterday travelers should "allow yourself a good half-hour extra" for delays or avoid I-97 entirely by taking the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or Ritchie Highway.

Motorists familiar with Glen Burnie could get off I-97 at either Quarterfield Road or Crain Highway and take northbound local roads, he recommended.

Highway officials are unsure if they will need to stop all northbound traffic at the Stewart Avenue bridge just south of Route 176 to move equipment across the highway.

If they must, the first closing would be at midmorning, the other in early afternoon, Mr. Brown said. Each closing would last no more than 15 minutes.

Saturday's traffic delays will compound existing delays for BWI-bound motorists. Already, they have to contend with road construction at BWI, where roads by the terminal are under construction.

BWI spokeswoman Karen Black said passengers, who have been warned to be at the airport 1 1/2 hours before a flight's scheduled departure, will need to add more time to their schedules.

Signs, traffic cones and barrels, and highway workers will direct traffic through the stretch of I-97 where the lanes are being opened.

The road work is part of a $62.7 million project to make I-97 three lanes wide in each direction from New Cut Road to the Baltimore Beltway. Work is expected to be completed this fall.

Pub Date: 3/14/96

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