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I-83 Soon Will Close One Lane In Each Direction

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Major traffic delays are in store for drivers on the JFX. A construction project begins this week on I-83 and the city expects it to cause heavy backups for a month.

Weijia Jiang has more on the impact of this roadwork.

I-83 is about to get even more crowded than usual.

"What? It's already crazy on the JFX anyway," said driver Jamia Thompson.

Starting Friday, one lane in each direction near the 29th Street bridge will be shut down for road work. It's expected to last for at least a month.

"Oh my God. God bless us all," said driver Tony Mendoza.

Like Mendoza, locals are bracing for bumper to bumper traffic.

"Headache, confusion, chaos," said driver Jamie Leagherbury.

The city says the JFX handles up to 6,000 cars an hour but with one lane closed in each direction, at least 2,000 cars an hour have to merge.

"Expect to spend a lot of time sitting in traffic," said Frank Murphy, Baltimore DOT.

Transportation officials say the light rail and Metro are the best options. If you have to drive, side streets are the way to go.

"I can't even think of no side streets; I just know JFX. It's the gateway, for real," said driver Michael Stanley.

This map highlights nine alternate routes to weave in and out of the city.

"Basically, the Beltway exits, York Road, Charles Street, Park Heights, Perring Parkway, Harford Road, Bel Air Road," Murphy said.

But some drivers worry even those will be packed.

"I can get home in 10 minutes using the expressway but if I have to go through the city, it's going to take me 40 minutes," said driver David Robertson.

"Think I'm going to have to leave earlier and leave later or just pray," said driver Stephanie Guebara.

Transportation officials have not determined just how much of the lanes will be closed but it will be at least a couple of exits. They say it could take up to two months to finish the project.

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