Oh, joy. Key phrase here: "significant washout and undermining conditions." Hat Tip to City Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke, who e-mailed us (and everyone) about the coming jam. Here's the link to the Transportation Dept. details. Full release below.
Traffic Advisory Jones Falls Expressway Lane Closures to Begin Significant Delays Expected for Motorists The Baltimore City Department of Transportation would like to advise motorists that beginning Friday, April 13,2012 at 7:00 p.m., the left lane of both the northbound and southbound Jones Falls Expressway in the vicinity of 29th Street and Druid Park Lake Drive will be closed. The lane closures are needed for emergency repairs to collapsed drainage pipes that are located underneath the expressway and have caused significant washout and undermining conditions. Once the closures are implemented, they will remain in effect until construction is complete, which is expected to take up to six to eight weeks. However, the duration of construction is uncertain at this time, and the lane closures could extend beyond this period. It is important that these closures are implemented now for safety reasons due to the undermining of the roadway. Due to the complex nature of the work involved, motorists will not see any construction work occurring in this area for a few weeks after the closures are implemented. Once repairs begin, adjacent lanes of travel may be narrowed through the construction zone for the safety of the work crews. In addition, adjacent travel lanes and possible full closures of the expressway may be implemented during evening and late night hours. These lane closures will cause significant delays along the expressway, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak hours. The remaining two lanes in each direction will not provide sufficient capacity to accommodate traffic demand and will result in serious congestion. To avoid delays during the lane closures, motorists are strongly advised to use alternate routes when trying to access the downtown area during peak hours. Commuters should also consider using alternate modes of travel including the Light Rail and Metro Subway. If possible, motorists should alter their travel times to "come early and stay late" in order to avoid delays. TRANSIT OPTIONS: The MTA operates the Metro which serves Northwest Baltimore City and County, and the Central Light Rail which serves points north. Note that the Metro and Light Rail are completely unaffected by traffic conditions. In addition, there are several express and local bus options. Transit information is available at 410-539-5000 or at http://www.mtamaryland.gov. ALTERNATE ROUTES: For those who continue drive, there are a number of alternate routes that can be utilized:
  • For motorists coming to or from Northwest Baltimore or northwest Baltimore County (including Pikesville, Reisterstown and Randallstown), the alternate routes are Liberty Road/Liberty Heights Avenue, Reisterstown Road and Park Heights Avenue.
  • For motorists coming to or from North Baltimore City or County (including Towson, Timonium and Cockeysville), the alternate routes are Charles Street, York Road and Loch Raven Boulevard.
  • For motorists coming to or from Northeast Baltimore City and County (including Parkville, Overlea and Perry Hall), the alternate routes are Hillen Road/Perring Parkway, Harford Road and Belair Road.
For additional information, including a map of suggested alternate routes, log onto http://www.BaltimoreCity.gov. The discovery of this safety hazard highlights not only the importance of routine maintenance and inspection, but the need for continued investment in our aging public infrastructure. Baltimore City Department of Transportation: "Keeping Baltimore Moving Safely"