Fort McHenry Tunnel - Opening Day Photos

These photos were taken on the opening day of Saturday, November 23, 1985.


Above: The first 300 yards of each inbound portal simulates daylight with high intensity lighting and white pavement, eliminating the "dark hole" effect on older tunnels and providing enough transition for motorists' eyes to adjust from daylight to the lighting level inside the tunnel. This is the inbound portal of the westbound righthand tube, and part inbound portal of the westbound lefthand tube is visible at the left edge of the photo. The roadway is 26 feet wide from curb to curb, and there is 16 feet of vertical clearance.

This group of 29 photos were taken on the opening day of November 23, 1985.
I-95 northbound, looking east (I-95 runs east-west in the immediate Fort McHenry Tunnel area).
I-95 northbound, looking east. Same vantage point as previous photo, but with a 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens instead of the 50 mm (1.0x) regular lens used in previous photo. The west tunnel portals are visible ahead, as is the point where the four-lane I-95 northbound roadway divides into two separate two-lane roadways. Each tunnel tube is two lanes wide, and each direction of I-95 has two separate two-lane tunnel tubes.
Similar to the previous photo, but I am standing on the roadway, and I used the regular lens.
Same vantage point as the previous photo, but with a 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens instead of the 50 mm (1.0x) lens used in the previous photo.
Similar to the previous photo, but a couple hundred feet further down the road.
The open west approach, leading to the tunnel portals ahead. The West Ventilation Building is visible just above the portals, and it was built with a low profile for aesthetic reasons to make it less obtrusive, because of its proximity to Fort McHenry.
Similar to the previous photo, but a couple hundred feet further down the road.
This is southbound I-95, looking west (in the direction of traffic). This is generally on the same station of the highway as the three previous photos, but on the opposite side of the highway.
Same general area as the previous photo, but a few hundred feet further down the highway. The asphalt gore is the divider between the two separate two-lane westbound roadways which came out of the tunnel behind me, which transition back to one single four-lane roadway. The I-95 roadway is constructed of continuously reinforced concrete pavement, and I-95 rises up onto an elevated viaduct ahead. 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens.
Similar to the previous photo, but about a hundred feet down the road.
Similar to the previous photo, but taken from several hundred feet behind the previous photo.
Surface thoroughfare next to I-95. This is generally in the same area as the previous photos, but just south of I-95 itself, looking westward toward the elevated I-95 viaduct.
Opening ceremonies were held on the freeway between the east approach portals and the toll plaza. Notice the four tube portals and the East Ventilation Building. Extra-bright lighting is used in the first few hundred yards of the inbound portals.
Similar to the previous photo, but taken from several hundred feet behind the previous photo.
East Approach, looking toward tunnel portals. This photo was somewhat underexposed, but I decided to post it here anyway.
The first 300 yards of each inbound portal simulates daylight with high intensity lighting and white pavement, eliminating the "dark hole" effect on older tunnels and providing enough transition for motorists' eyes to adjust from daylight to the lighting level inside the tunnel. This is the inbound portal of the westbound inner tube, and I am standing at the portal itself. The roadway is 26 feet wide from curb to curb, and there is 16 feet of vertical clearance. Taken with a 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens.
Similar vantage point as the previous photo, but from the left lane. Taken with a 135mm (2.7x) telephoto lens.

The film used exaggerates the contrast between the high-intensity and the standard-intensity areas of tunnel lighting. The standard-intensity area is much better lighted than this photo shows. The first 5 photos on the page Fort McHenry Tunnel - Construction - 1985 show a true representation of what the standard-intensity areas look like.

Same tube as above two photos, but I walked down into the tube, several hundred feet from the portal, and I took the photo with a 50mm (1.0x) regular lens.
Similar vantage point as previous photo, but from the left lane. Taken with a 50mm (1.0x) regular lens.
East Approach, looking toward east tunnel portals.
Looking into east portal, westbound outer tube.
Opening ceremonies are about to begin. A motorcade of antique cars are parked at the toll plaza in East Baltimore. The platform for the dignitaries and speakers was set up on the opposite side of the toll plaza from where the cars are parked.
Looking eastward toward the toll booths. I-95 rises onto an elevated viaduct in the distance. As you can see, a replica rubber-tired trolley is parked ahead, and many attendees for the ceremonies, are standing and walking around.
Looking eastward toward the toll booths, a similar but closer shot than the previous photo.
From the eastern part of the toll plaza, looking east toward the 8-lane elevated I-95 viaduct in East Baltimore.
Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer speaks at the opening ceremonies.
Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer. I enlarged his image as much as possible from the previous photo.
Maryland Governor Harry R. Hughes speaks at the opening ceremonies.
Maryland Governor Harry R. Hughes. I enlarged his image as much as possible from the previous photo.

All photos taken by Scott Kozel.

Copyright 1999-2003 by Scott Kozel. All rights reserved. Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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By Scott M. Kozel, Roads to the Future

(Created 11-7-1999, updated 1-1-2003)