Interstate 70 west - Baltimore to Frederick
The flyover ramp from the inner loop of Interstate 695 (Baltimore Beltway) to westbound Interstate 70 in Woodlawn, Maryland, west of Baltimore, passes under I-70 here. It is part of a locally famous four-level stack interchange, which is somewhat underused as a result of I-70's abrupt end just to the east. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
Once all traffic from the Beltway comes in, I-70 begins in earnest. I-70 was supposed to reach Interstate 95 in west Baltimore, at roughly I-95's current interchange with Washington Boulevard, but nearly its entire city segment was scrapped due to community opposition. Instead, I-70 rises from a park-and-ride at the city/county line. While the brief segment inside the Beltway was reported to be decommissioned in 2014, this is disputed. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The first westbound I-70 reassurance shield. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The speed limit for now is 65 miles per hour. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
An overhead sign just further ahead, mounted on an eastbound gantry, displays distances to four cities along I-70's path: Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; Denver, Colorado; and I-70's western terminus, Cove Fort, Utah. Installed in 2004 as a test sign for Clearview font and initially at ground level next to the westbound carriageway, the State Highway Administration eventually decided to make it a permanent fixture to add to Baltimore's status as I-70's east end. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
A dynamic message sign hangs over the westbound carriageway as I-70 begins descending into the Patapsco River valley. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
A bridge over the Patapsco River sits in the distance, just further downhill. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
At the bottom of the hill, exit 87, U.S. Route 29 toward Columbia and Washington, DC, is announced to be two miles ahead. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
I-70 now crosses the main branch of the Patapsco River. This bridge is considered part of the Patapsco Valley State Park, which has a separate portion in the Catonsville-Arbutus area to the south. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The highway has now entered Howard County, and specifically the area of Ellicott City, the county seat. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
At exit 87, the ramp from westbound I-70 to southbound US 29 is a left exit which passes under the eastbound carriageway. US 29 officially has its northern terminus at Maryland Route 99 just north of the interchange. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
Ellicott City's historic downtown can be reached by taking US 29 south one exit to U.S. Route 40 east. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The left exit for US 29 south (87A) is just ahead. Prior to that, I-70 passes under Rogers Avenue, which segues into the aforementioned MD 99 at US 29 and also leads into downtown Ellicott City in the other direction. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
Exit 87B for the northernmost few feet of US 29 branches off in the distance. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The ramp to US 29 south leaves I-70 here, as does exit 87B just ahead. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
After receiving a cloverleaf ramp from US 29 north, I-70 passes under US 29, which from here runs just over 1,000 miles to Pensacola, Florida via Charlottesville, the Piedmont Triad, Charlotte, Greenville-Spartanburg, Atlanta and Montgomery, Alabama. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
In comes the ramp from MD 99/US 29 south. For about five miles, I-70 will now be only two lanes in each direction. This sometimes results in a bottleneck eastbound during the morning commute. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
I-70 reassurance follows the interchange. Photo taken 07-18-2016.
The highway's speed limit now matches its number - in October 2015, Governor Larry Hogan passed legislation increasing Maryland's maximum highway speed limit to 70 miles per hour, and the increase took effect the following April on most of interstates 70 and 68 from this point out to Garrett County, a 160-plus-mile drive westward. Photo taken 07-18-2016.