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Construction at Interstate 95 and Route 43 begins

Construction at the Interstate 95 and Route 43 interchange, which officials say will drastically reduce congestion in the corridor by 2014, began Monday, the Maryland Transportation Authority said.

The $142.6 million project is part of the state’s $1.03 billion plan to alleviate traffic by constructing express toll lanes along an 8-mile stretch of road from the I-95 and I-895 interchange to just north of Route 43.

This portion of the work will involve widening I-95, replacing Route 43 bridges over the interstate and linking future express toll lanes to White Marsh Boulevard. The construction has created 400 jobs, Gov. Martin O’Malley said in a prepared statement.

“These interchange improvements and the [express toll lanes] will work together to help alleviate congestion, especially during peak-travel times, and provide more reliable travel times for picking up children, making deliveries or attending meetings,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley in the statement. “The [express toll lanes] will not only benefit those choosing to pay tolls to use these lanes, but also will reduce the number of vehicles in the general-purpose lanes.”

Once completed, drivers can choose to travel in the regular lanes or pay a fee to use the express toll lanes.

Originally, the project was to have spanned 10 miles, past White Marsh, but the project was scaled back in 2010 due to MdTA’s increasing debt obligations.