Fort McHenry is a fortress built in 1776 to strengthen the defense of the United States in the Revolutionary War. The fort is located near Baltimore Bay on the Locust Point Peninsula. Today, McHenry is a national monument and a historical shrine.
The McHenry Tunnel was built in 1985. Its construction cost the state $750 million. It is worth noting that earlier McHenry was one of the most expensive underwater tunnels in the United States.
It is worth noting that the McHenry tunnel is still on the leaderboard in terms of the high cost. The only one ahead of this project is Big Dig, which is located in Boston.
Since 2009, the annual traffic is over 43 million vehicles. Since July 1, 2015, the fare has become paid when moving in any direction. For cars with more than two axles, you will have to pay extra.
What about today?
In 2020, due to the spread of COVID 2019, only electronic payment of fees was introduced. Payment is made through E-Zpass and Video Tolling, where there is a function of automatic recognition of vehicle numbers. Since August 2020, payment via Video Tolling has become permanent.
The plan for the future McHenry Tunnel was created in the 1960s. The initial developments of the project assumed the presence of a two-story bridge with eight traffic lanes.
However, the bridge project was later abandoned as the municipality argued that it would negatively impact the fort’s status as a national monument. So they decided to replace the bridge with a tunnel.
Changes were also made to the general concept - instead of a reinforced concrete box structure, a steel tubular structure was used:
32 tubular-type sections;
the width of each section is 25 m;
the height of each section is 13 m;
the length of the eastern and western passages is 490 m and 980 m, respectively.
Despite the tourist background, the McHenry Tunnel remains an important transport hub.