Motorists using downtown streets tomorrow are being warned of delays caused by to the annual Preakness Parade and a Kenny Chesney concert at M&T; Bank Stadium scheduled for the afternoon. Additional events are being held at the Baltimore Convention Center, and city transportation officials said traffic could be heavy from 8 a.m. to midnight.
Also, the Maryland Transportation Authority warned that traffic is expected to be heavy along north and southbound Interstate 95 in the city, especially near the downtown and Russell Street exits. People not intending to go to Baltimore are being urged to use I-895 to avoid congestion.
More than 7,500 spectators are expected to watch the parade, which is expected to include 6,000 participants and 30 floats. It begins at 11 a.m. at Pratt and Howard streets and ends around 2 p.m. at Market Place.
The following streets will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Pratt Street from Paca to Howard streets; and Eutaw Street from Lombard to Pratt streets. Northbound Paca Street will be reduced to two lanes from Camden to Lombard streets.
Streets closed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. are: Market Place from Pratt to Lombard streets; and Pratt Street from Market Place to President Street. From 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pratt Street from Howard to President streets will be closed.
Northbound Paca Street traffic headed for Pratt Street will be detoured east onto Baltimore Street, south onto President Street and return to Pratt. Southbound Eutaw Street traffic headed for Interstate 395 will be detoured west onto Lombard Street, south on to Greene Street, southwest onto Washington Boulevard and on to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which turns into I-395.
In addition to the parade, the Kenny Chesney concert at the arena is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m. and is expected to draw 45,000 people. Tailgaters are expected to start arriving about 8 a.m.
The Baltimore Department of Transportation is urging people to use public transportation, including buses and light rail trains.