By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The I-95 express lanes from White Marsh into Baltimore opened for the first time Saturday morning.

Investigator Mike Hellgren took a spin on the new toll road and explains what to expect.

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The new express lanes are now open for business and will be toll free until December 13th. Once they begin, a round trip during peak hours will cost $3.50. The tolls cost millions and run from 895 to just north of White Marsh Boulevard and are designed to alleviate congestion during peak travel times.

One Maryland resident says she won’t be a regular user, but the lanes could be just what her sister need for her morning commute.

“She doesn’t get on 95 until 7, 7:15, and there so much traffic, and when there’s so much traffic, guaranteed there’s going to be a delay someplace,”said motorist Pat Tutin.

Maryland Transportation officials say there could be a learning curve with new traffic flow getting on and off the lanes. When similar lanes opened on the capital beltway in Virgina, they caused crashes as people swerved at the last minute to avoid entering them and paying the toll.

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“In in the peak period, they’re going to see charges of $1.75 for our E-ZPass customers, off peak, they’ll see $1.40 and overnight 70 cents for the eight mile trip,” said Bruce Gartner, the Executive Director of the Maryland Transportation Authority.

The state says the area has become a top congestion point in the Baltimore region, but for some the cost using express is not worth it.

“It may relieve just a little pressure, but for people going into White Marsh or something like that, I see taking Old Philadelphia Road or taking 40 or something like that. I don’t see it really being used like that,” said motorist Curtis Brown.

This is the second all electric toll road in Maryland and if you don’t have an E-ZPass, they will just charge you to your car’s registration.

Almost 200,000 people use the I-95 express lanes from White Marsh into Baltimore every day.

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