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Lane Closures Begin On The JFX

BALTIMORE (WJZ)--  The daily commute is about to get a lot worse for thousands of people who use the JFX to get into downtown Baltimore. Lane closures are  in effect.

Derek Valcourt explains the first real test comes with the morning commute.

The JFX is the main artery into downtown.  Commuters fear traffic will not be pretty in the morning.

There is already one fewer lane on 83.  Drivers say traffic will be an awful headache of confusion and chaos.

The lane closures are needed for critical repairs that the city says cannot wait. Crushed underground pipes, primarily under the left lane, have created water back-ups and holes underneath the road.

"We know there's a void under there and if left unchecked that could become a sinkhole," Frank Murphy of the Department of Transportation said. "Obviously, we don't want that to happen."

Many downtown companies have already warned their employees to be proactive and plan ahead.

Workers say they will have to wake up and leave their homes earlier in order to get to work on time.

The MTA says it's a good time to give its services a try.

Some agree that public transit is a viable option because it's cost-effective and convenient, but others are less than thrilled.

"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," driver David Robertson said.

If you have to drive, the city has mapped out nine alternative routes for people coming in from the north. If you need to drive, click here for routes around the JFX.

For drivers, the traffic tie-ups may be painful but they are temporary.

Officials say this road construction project is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.

Transportation officials suggest taking light rail or subway if you can.

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