BALTIMORE (WJZ) — What kind of birthday gift could a tunnel possibly want? You should probably start thinking about that, as the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel turned 61 on Thursday.
Amid the heavy construction on I-895, the 1.4 mile Harbor Tunnel celebrates over 60 years of service after opening on Nov. 29, 1957.
The tunnel was designed by a joint effort between two engineering firms based in Baltimore and New York and has two-lanes stretching in each direction from the south shore of the Patapsco River to the north shore of Dundalk.
On April 11, 1956, the first of 21 310-foot sections were sunk into the harbor to begin construction.
Finishing two months ahead of schedule, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel was opened to the public Nov. 29, 1957 with a toll of merely forty cents.
Thousands of motorists used the tunnel on its opening day as they traveled to Philadelphia to watch the 1957 Army-Navy football game.
Sixty years later the tunnel still ferries motorists under the Patapsco River, albeit with a higher toll of $4.00 or $3.00 E-ZPass.
Roadwork began on Tuesday to replace the bridge north of the tunnel, with Maryland Transportation Authority officials urging motorists to avoid I-895 and the Harbor Tunnel.
The northbound Harbor Tunnel itself will be closed for 60 days in spring 2019, with the southbound section closing a year later in 2020 for rehabilitation work.