Chesapeake House the second service area, err travel plaza on Interstate 95 (John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway) north, reopened last Tuesday. Both the renovation and reopening seems to be lacking in the fanfare of Maryland House, but it’s good news for I-95 travelers.
In my experience Chesapeake House, originally opened in 1972, is less crowded than Maryland House, so I have preferred stopping there over the years. The last several years have seen three completely rebuilt service areas along a 40 mile stretch of I-95 between Baltimore and Wilmington. The Delaware Service Plaza was rebuilt in 2008.
Service areas are lasting vestige of the pre-interstate toll roads area. In order to promote commerce along interstate corridors, service areas are banned and have been since the early 1960s. Some interstates were assigned to existing turnpikes like parts of the New Jersey Turnpike and the service areas were grandfathered in.
Unfortunately, an opportunity was missed during the reconstruction of these service areas — flyover ramps from the right side. It would have been eight overall (2 off, 2 on in each direction) but for whatever reason, the Maryland Transportation Authority did not choose to go n that direction. Safety and traffic flow are better when exits and entrances are from the right side.
The first service area on Interstate 95 north, Maryland House, reopened recently. The facility was knocked down and replaced after closing in September 2012.
Private money built the new facility, and a private company will operate it.
Here’s what Maryland gets:
“Over $400 million in state revenue over the length of the partnership,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
The 35-year private-public partnership will also mean hundreds of local jobs.
The new Maryland House travel plaza will also have 40 gas pumps.
From 50-Year-Old Maryland House Set To Reopen As Ultra-Modern Rest Stop
Here is the official release: New $30 Million Maryland House Travel Plaza on I-95 Now Open
Further up I-95, the Chesapeake House will be closed until late summer or fall to be rebuilt.
I-95 Maryland House service area closes this Sunday – 09.11.2012
I-95’s Maryland service areas to be rebuilt – 02.13.2012
Upgrades coming to Md. I-95 service areas – 10.06.2006
Photo used with permission of C Patrick Zilliacus
On Saturday, Steve Ander @Metro_Nomad , a Northern Virginia resident, set out to visit every station on the Metro system, defined as such:
The carefully crafted itinerary will keep him riding until he has stopped — and exited for a photo — at each of the 86 stations in the system.
WTOP live-blogged, from which the quote above came from, the whole journey.
Metro_Nomad was unsuccessful by a mere five stations:
That’s quite a journey nonetheless. The current Metro rail system is over 103 miles long with 86 stations. It can probably be done with a little luck and on a Friday when the system is open from 5 a.m. until 2 a.m. the next morning. That is until the Silver Line opens. We hope.
I like living in an area where the subway system is too big to clinch in day.