As crews work to salvage the Key Bridge and move the Dali from a critical shipping channel in the water, teams on the ground are working to reroute traffic and keep drivers safe. While the region returns to its regular commuting schedule after spring break, here’s what you should know:

Closed roads and alternate routes

The I-695 Beltway remains closed at MD 173 (Exit 1) on the Outer Loop and at MD 157/Peninsula Expressway (Exit 43) on the Inner Loop.

With the southeast corridor of the Beltway closed, the Maryland Transportation Authority is warning of expected heavy traffic. Drivers are advised to plan ahead and to allow for extra travel time.

“Drivers are strongly encouraged to allow extra travel times using the alternate routes on I-95, I-895 and other sections of I-695, especially during morning and after rush hour periods,” the authority said in a news release.

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Last week and over the weekend, highway officials did report increased volumes in the two tunnels but did not report any increase in delays or congestion. With schools returning from spring break, that could change.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld told reporters on Tuesday that his department is continuing to monitor traffic and patterns as drivers shift in the Baltimore region.

Wiedefeld said the state has seen approximately 15,000 additional vehicles a day using the Fort McHenry Tunnel and about 7,000 more traveling through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

“We’ll monitor the condition of those facilities and make any necessary improvements to make sure that the safety of those facilities are maintained,” Wiedefeld said.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation is working with state and local officials to adapt for anticipated changes in traffic, according to a news release.

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That includes evaluating how traffic gets into and out of the city — areas that may require increased traffic direction and enforcement because of increased volume. It could also mean adjusting traffic signal timing, the city DOT said.

Vehicles carrying hazardous materials — including bottles of propane — are prohibited from driving in the tunnels and should reroute around the western side of I-695.

Last year, the Key Bridge accounted for about 8% of the MDTA’s toll revenue. Highway officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Baltimore Banner reporters Danny Zawodny and Dylan Segalbaum contributed to this story.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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