The National Road was the first federally funded road in the nation and originally connected Cumberland, Maryland, west to Wheeling, West Virginia. Begun in Cumberland in 1806, it was the nation's chief route west for many years. As U.S. Route 40, it remains a principal east-west artery today in a State highway network that comprises some 29,579 miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads and over 2,400 bridges.

Each year, the State Highway Administration designs and constructs new roads, and operates, maintains, widens, and improves existing highways at an average cost of $905 million a year. To alert motorists to traffic congestion, incidents, and detours, the Administration operates a low-frequency radio station (560 AM) and cooperates with the Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) Board to provide live images of traffic congestion on the Internet and advance traffic management techniques. On most major highways, the maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour. On certain sections of expressways and interstate highways, it changed to 65 miles per hour in 1995.

Interstate Highways:
I-68 connects with I-70 near Hancock, Maryland and I-79 at Morgantown, W.VA
I-70 goes west to Frederick, Hagerstown and beyond from Baltimore Beltway
I-81 alternative north-south route intersects I-70 near Hagerstown in Western Maryland
I-83 originates in downtown Baltimore, goes north to Baltimore Beltway and on to York and Harrisburg, PA; offers excellent access to Port of Baltimore
I-95 links principal metropolitan centers along the East Coast
I-97 connects Annapolis with Baltimore Beltway
I-195 gives access to Baltimore/Washington International Airport from I-95
I-270 links Rockville and environs northwest to Frederick and I-70 West
I-370 connector route north of Rockville into I-270
I-395 provides access to downtown Baltimore from I-95; offers excellent access to Port of Baltimore
I-495 Capital Beltway, surrounds Washington, DC
I-695 Baltimore Beltway, surrounds Baltimore
I-795 provides access to Owings Mills and Reisterstown from Baltimore Beltway
I-895 Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway, an I-95 alternative, bypassing downtown Baltimore

Tolls. Most Maryland highways are toll-free. On the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (part of I-95), however, northbound tolls are collected. Tolls also are taken at two tunnels: Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), and Fort McHenry Tunnel (also part of I-95). And tolls are collected at four bridges: Chesapeake Bay Bridge (eastbound toll) in Anne Arundel County; Thomas J. Hatem Bridge (part of U.S. 40, eastbound toll) at Perryville; Francis Scott Key Bridge (part of I-695, Baltimore Beltway, northbound and southbound tolls); and Governor Harry W. Nice Bridge in Charles County (southbound toll).

An electronic toll-collection system (M-TAG) began in April 1999 for Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, Fort McHenry Tunnel, and Francis Scott Key Bridge.

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2000

July 18, 2000   
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