Section Of Pratt Street Closed For 2 Weeks

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In just about three months, Baltimore City streets will turn into a giant race course.  But in the meantime, traffic is slow-going as construction continues.  Jessica Kartalija explains drivers are being told to avoid downtown if possible.

Signs, signs and more signs.

“It’s horrific,” said one driver.

With just three months until the Baltimore Grand Prix, drivers deal with more closures for construction.

“We are closing Charles Street between Conway and Pratt.  It’s going to be for a week or two,” said Frank Murphy, Department of Transportation.

In order to repair giant slabs of concrete, transportation officials have closed two lanes along Pratt between Hopkins Place and Calvert Street.

“Traffic is horrendous.  It’s crazy! It sometimes takes an hour to get from Pier Five to Fells Point,” said a driver.

The construction isn’t just a headache for drivers.  Commuters say trying to park on the street is nearly impossible.

“Because they have closed some of the streets, there’s no on-street parking access, so it’s been very, very difficult.  I can’t run as many service calls,” said one.

Cab drivers say the construction is killing business.

“Before you turn, you have to go around and around before you can turn.  Construction blocks it.  Six lanes turn to one.  It’s just not fair,” said Toks Ogunlale.

Transportation officials say the repairs are crucial as the racecars will navigate city streets at speeds over 180 miles per hour.

“It’s going to be worth it in the long run, if it brings money to Baltimore,” said a driver.

The Baltimore Grand Prix will take place over Labor Day weekend, September 2-4.

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