BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Northbound I-895 and Exit 10/Holabird Avenue will be completely closed beginning Tuesday. Two-way traffic will operate on southbound I-895 with one lane going in each direction.

The closure is part of the MDTA’s $189 million I-895 Bridge Project to replace the 60-year-old bridge north of the Harbor Tunnel. The construction is slated to be completed in summer 2021.

“When I first came to the MDTA this was the project that everybody warned me about,” said Kevin Reigrut, MDTA executive director.

RELATED: Major Roadwork To Impact Traffic On I-895 From Now Until 2021

The Maryland Transportation Authority is urging motorists to avoid I-895 and the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.

The MDTA is recommending drivers use I-695/Key Bridge and I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as alternate routes.

The Transportation Authority said it cannot over-emphasize the impact on traffic. They said one accident could stop everything cold.

“That’s absolutely true, and that’s why I want to urge anyone that thinks about using 895 during this project this is the time to be especially careful. Put those cell phones away, make sure the seatbelts are on, leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. There won’t be any shoulders to use and an incident that happens on 895 during this project is likely to have a substantial impact,” Reigurt said.

The Transportation Secretary is not mincing words.

“It is my strong recommendation for your own benefit, find an alternate route,” said Pete Rahn, MDTA chairman.

Those alternatives are I-695 and I-95, and even there you’re likely to notice heavy traffic as drivers make their way around.

This Phase One year-long traffic pattern should be in place in the next couple of weeks.

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