In 1937, the State Roads Commission was authorized to construct tunnels financed by tolls to be collected on the completed projects (Chapter 356, Acts of 1937). Now, State tunnels are the responsibility of the Maryland Transportation Authority of the Department of Transportation. All are found around Baltimore City.

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel opened in November 1957 between Canton and Fairfield. Designated I-895, the 1.4-mile, four-lane tunnel provided the first direct link north and south under the Harbor for vehicles bypassing Baltimore City. When it opened, the Harbor Tunnel was the longest twin-tube trench tunnel in the world.

In 1985, the eight-lane Fort McHenry Tunnel became a vital part of I-95, the East Coast's most important interstate route. The Tunnel crosses under the Patapsco River south of Fort McHenry, and connects the Locust Point and Canton areas of Baltimore City.

Tolls of $4.00 each way for cars (higher for vehicles with 3 or more axles) are collected for both tunnels, and electronic toll-collection (known as M-TAG) began for both in 1999. In January 2003, M-TAG became part of the E-Z Pass system.

For commuters and intercity rail passengers traveling north and south, their route passes through tunnels under Baltimore City. The 1.4 mile long Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel was built in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Railroad and consists of three short tunnels: Gilmore Street, Wilson Street, and John Street. Also constructed in 1873, the Union Tunnel connects Pennsylvania Station to the main line heading to Philadelphia and points north. Lying just east of Baltimore's Penn Station, the Union Tunnel is about 0.6 miles long. Both tunnels are owned by Amtrack.

Completed in 1895 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Howard Street Tunnel serves commercial freight trains transporting goods from the Port of Baltimore to Philadelphia and markets on the East Coast and in the Midwest. It is part of the CSX Corporation's rail transportation network, and is almost 1.7 miles in length.

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