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Wider northbound I-97 opens tomorrow Third lane will ease commute to Baltimore


After years of construction and congestion, the State Highway Administration will open a third northbound lane on Interstate 97 in Anne Arundel County tomorrow evening.

The new lane will begin at Route 174, known as Quarterfield Road, and extend north of Route 176, known as Dorsey Road, SHA officials said. The project is part of construction to improve I-97 north to the Baltimore Beltway.

"For people commuting from Annapolis and down in that area up to Baltimore, obviously there were some delays in the past," said David Buck, an SHA spokesman. "We got numerous calls about the delays there every morning. But, it's a pretty clear shot now. It's really going to be nice."

If the weather allows painting, single-lane closures will be in effect along northbound I-97 between Dorsey and Quarterfield roads after 8 p.m. today until about 6 p.m. tomorrow. Temporary closures of all northbound lanes will start after midnight tonight, officials said.

Buck said the closures will allow crews to paint new striping that will enable motorists to drive in three lanes along the new concrete roadway.

Construction on I-97 began in spring 1993. The anticipated third-lane opening this weekend is one of four construction projects on I-97, which are costing the state about $62.7 million.

With the opening of the third lane, crews will begin rebuilding the Dorsey Road ramp that was removed during construction. The ramp is expected to be completed by spring, Buck said.

For tonight and tomorrow, SHA officials advised motorists to drive slowly, stay far behind other cars and be prepared to stop on northbound I-97.

Automated signs, arrow boards, highway workers, traffic barrels and drums will also guide motorists through the work zone this weekend.

Pub Date: 7/25/97

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