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Drivers Brace For Gridlock As JFX Construction Set To Begin Friday

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Drivers beware! A major construction project begins on the Jones Falls Expressway and it could cause traffic nightmares.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the project.

Some lanes will be shut down overnight. They’ll be back open for the morning rush. But the real project starts Friday night and it won’t be over for weeks.

Drivers on the JFX used to go, go, go… may now be going slow, slow, slow.

“That’s supposed to be an expressway getting out of here. Now, you cutting it down? It’s pretty much just going to be a regular street,” one driver said.

Starting at 7 p.m. Friday, one lane north and southbound will be shut down near the 29th Street Bridge after holes were found underneath the surface of the road.

“It is being closed for safety purposes. We know there’s a void under there. And if left unchecked, that could become a sinkhole,” said Frank Murphy, Department of Transportation.

The closures are expected to last at least a month.

“That’s not going to be good. Traffic is going to be worse than what it has been. I guarantee there’s going to be more accidents,” Lisa Stant, a driver, said.

To avoid the gridlock altogether, officials suggest opting for public transportation.

“If you’ve ever sat in gridlock on the JFX you know what that hassle can be like,” Stant said.

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is encouraging drivers to hop a train to work instead of sitting in traffic.

“There are an awful lot of people who have not experimented with light rail or Metro subway, and now might be an ideal time to do so,” Terry Owens of the MTA said.

If you do have to drive, the MDOT has released a list of ways to get around the JFX to help you steer clear and avoid the gridlock.

For more detailed directions to help you get around the JFX, click here.

While the lanes are being closed on Friday for safety purposes, repair work is not set to begin for another two weeks.

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