The National Road, begun in Cumberland in 1806, was the nation's chief route west for many years. As U.S. Route 40, it remains a principal east-west artery today in a State highway network with over 16,000 lane miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads and over 2,000 bridges.

Each year, the State Highway Administration designs and constructs new roads, and operates, maintains, widens, and improves existing highways at an average cost of $590 million a year. To alert motorists to traffic congestion, incidents, and detours, the Administration operates a low-frequency radio station (560 AM). On most major urban highways, maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour. On some rural highways, it changed to 65 miles per hour in 1995.

Interstate Highways: I-68, I-70, I-83, I-95, I-270, and U.S. 50. Two circular highways or beltways loop around Baltimore (I-695) and Washington, DC (I-495), connecting major routes. Maryland's interstate system links to the Port of Baltimore, and Baltimore/Washington International Airport in Maryland; Dulles Airport in Virginia; and National Airport in Washington, DC. One of Maryland's newest interstates, I-68, opened in 1991. It provides an alternate route for westbound truckers and brings the Appalachian culture of Western Maryland closer to vacationers.

Tolls. Most Maryland highways are toll-free. Tolls are collected, however, on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (part of I-95, northbound toll). They also are collected for two tunnels-Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), and Fort McHenry Tunnel (also part of I-95); and four bridges-Thomas J. Hatem Bridge (part of U.S. 40, eastbound toll) at Perryville, the two Chesapeake Bay Bridges (eastbound toll) in Anne Arundel County, and the Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge in Charles County (southbound toll).

Maryland Transportation
Maryland Department of Transportation
Maryland at a Glance

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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