[photo, Sideling Hill rest stop, west of Hancock, Washington County, Maryland]

Sideling Hill rest stop, west of Hancock, Washington County, Maryland, October 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The National Road was the first federally funded road in the nation and originally connected Cumberland, Maryland, west to Wheeling, West Virginia. Begun in Cumberland in 1806, it 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 that comprises some 29,579 miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads and over 2,400 bridges.

Each year, the State Highway Administration of the Department of Transportation designs and constructs new roads, and operates, maintains, widens, and improves existing highways at an average cost of $905 million a year. To alert motorists to traffic congestion, incidents, and detours, the Administration operates a low-frequency radio station (560 AM) and cooperates with the Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) Board to provide live images of traffic congestion on the Internet and advance traffic management techniques. On most major highways, the maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour. On certain sections of expressways and interstate highways, it changed to 65 miles per hour in 1995. For the Intercounty Connector, the speed limit was raised to 60 miles per hour in March 2013.


I-68 connects with I-70 near Hancock, Maryland and I-79 at Morgantown, W.VA
I-70 goes west to Frederick, Hagerstown and beyond from Baltimore Beltway
I-81 alternative north-south route intersects I-70 near Hagerstown in Western Maryland
I-83 originates in downtown Baltimore, goes north to Baltimore Beltway and on to York and Harrisburg, PA; offers excellent access to Port of Baltimore
I-95 links principal metropolitan centers along the East Coast
I-97 connects Annapolis with Baltimore Beltway
I-195 gives access to Baltimore/Washington International Airport from I-95
I-270 links Rockville and environs northwest to Frederick and I-70 West
I-370 connector route north of Rockville into I-270
I-395 provides access to downtown Baltimore from I-95; offers excellent access to Port of Baltimore
I-495 Capital Beltway, surrounds Washington, DC
I-695 Baltimore Beltway, surrounds Baltimore
I-795 provides access to Owings Mills and Reisterstown from Baltimore Beltway
I-895 Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway, an I-95 alternative, bypassing downtown Baltimore


Most Maryland highways are toll-free. On the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (part of I-95), however, a $8.00 northbound toll is collected. The Highway is a fifty-mile section of I-95, stretching from the northern Baltimore City line to the Delaware border. The I-95 toll plaza is in Cecil County, one mile north of where the Tydings Memorial Bridge crosses the Susquehanna River.

In 2011, the InterCounty Connector (ICC) opened, the State's second toll road. Also known as Maryland Route 200, it is the first all-electronic toll road, with tolls collected either through E-Z Pass, or alternately through video tolling. Video tolling, a more expensive option, also is used anytime a vehicle uses a toll facility without valid payment. The license plate is photographed, that information is processed by the Motor Vehicle Administration, and a billing statement is printed and mailed to the vehicle owner. Tolls vary according to traffic volume, with higher tolls charged during peak travel hours. Approximately 18 miles in length, the ICC connects Insterstate 95 at Laurel in Prince George's County with Interstate 370 at Shady Grove in Montgomery County.

Tolls also are taken at two tunnels: Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), and Fort McHenry Tunnel (also part of I-95). And tolls are collected at four bridges: Chesapeake Bay Bridge (eastbound toll) in Anne Arundel County; Thomas J. Hatem Bridge (part of U.S. 40, eastbound toll) at Perryville; Francis Scott Key Bridge (part of I-695, Baltimore Beltway, northbound and southbound tolls); and Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge in Charles County (southbound toll).

Electronic toll collection (M-TAG) began in April 1999 for Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel, and Francis Scott Key Bridge. In January 2003, M-TAG became part of the E-Z Pass system currently used in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Welcome centers and rest areas are located on interstates and other major routes throughout Maryland.

On the toll portion of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95), two full-service Welcome Centers are operated by the Maryland Transportation Authority. Accessible to both northbound and southbound traffic, they provide restrooms, travel information, telephones, food, fuel, and free Wi-Fi to motorists.

These facilities do not offer food and fuel, but do provide restrooms, travel information, vending machines, picnic areas, and telephones.

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