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Old 07-12-2016, 12:54 AM   #1
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Baltimore tunnels restrictions

I know we have discussed these restrictions many many times here and on other websites. Per the MD transportation authority website, "vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895)."

Today, we returned to NC from visiting family in NJ (no fiver this trip as we stayed at DMIL's house). We went through the Fort McHenry tunnel on I-95 south. We followed a class A motorhome through the tunnel. He went through the EZ Pass only lane and was never stopped or questioned about it. We were behind him for a few miles so we know for a fact they were never pulled. We also saw a class A and a fiver entering the tunnels on the northbound side of the highway. No idea if the got pulled coming out the other side. Now there was a broken down vehicle just in front of the southbound toll booths blocking a lane. A police officer and tow truck were busy with this person.

I am very curious about this. Did they just get lucky? Was there a recent change in the rules and the website hasn't caught up? Thoughts?
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:12 AM   #2
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Lucky.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by asquared View Post
I know we have discussed these restrictions many many times here and on other websites. Per the MD transportation authority website, "vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895)."

Today, we returned to NC from visiting family in NJ (no fiver this trip as we stayed at DMIL's house). We went through the Fort McHenry tunnel on I-95 south. We followed a class A motorhome through the tunnel. He went through the EZ Pass only lane and was never stopped or questioned about it. We were behind him for a few miles so we know for a fact they were never pulled. We also saw a class A and a fiver entering the tunnels on the northbound side of the highway. No idea if the got pulled coming out the other side. Now there was a broken down vehicle just in front of the southbound toll booths blocking a lane. A police officer and tow truck were busy with this person.

I am very curious about this. Did they just get lucky? Was there a recent change in the rules and the website hasn't caught up? Thoughts?
Laws are one thing, enforcement is another. When one of these blows, however, enforcement will resume for awhile.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:07 AM   #4
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Laws are one thing, enforcement is another. When one of these blows, however, enforcement will resume for awhile.

Maybe not enforced because the regulation is idiotic and over regulation to begin with?

Plenty of tunnels around PA, ever been through Pittsburgh or across the PA Tpike? None prohibit propane and I can not ever remember an RV blowing up inside one. The only difference between here and the tunnels in Baltimore and Boston are, they are underwater. No RV made carries enough gas to blow the lid off of one of those. Somewhere along the line some local politician made it his pet project more than likely. From what people tell me about living in MA, and what I know from living in MD myself it doesn't surprise me at all they have the bans.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:48 AM   #5
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Maybe not enforced because the regulation is idiotic and over regulation to begin with?

Plenty of tunnels around PA, ever been through Pittsburgh or across the PA Tpike? None prohibit propane and I can not ever remember an RV blowing up inside one. The only difference between here and the tunnels in Baltimore and Boston are, they are underwater. No RV made carries enough gas to blow the lid off of one of those. Somewhere along the line some local politician made it his pet project more than likely. From what people tell me about living in MA, and what I know from living in MD myself it doesn't surprise me at all they have the bans.
They don't allow you to go into a tunnel in Virginia with your propane on. There is an inspection station that you have to pull into and they check to make sure it is off. There are pull outs on both sides with police at each, plus cameras. These go under water to. Get caught and you will get a ticket and a $500.00 fine. there 3 tunnels on hywy 77 north going into WV. they do not have restrictions just the ones underwater.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:57 AM   #6
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One of the I77 tunnels in Virginia did have an RV burn up inside (actually it happened more than once) But the worst time it closed the tunnel for several months so repairs to the tunnel could be made.

Saw pictures of one of the incidents black smoke billowed out the ends. Do not remember what the injuries were.

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Old 07-12-2016, 06:08 AM   #7
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This is not the I77 RV fire but same idea (tractor trailer) To search results the RV fires were too old to still be on the news sites but a tractor trailer fire is the same end result....... see the smoke pictures.

Tunnel fire stops I-77 traffic near W.Va., Va. border - Roanoke Times: Virginia

I believe the tunnel was closed 5 days on this accident for repair.

Eliminating any possible ignition source is a good idea. Personally I would rather error on the side of safety.

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Old 07-12-2016, 06:22 AM   #8
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I went through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel a few weeks ago. Northbound I had already turned the propane off when I stopped a few miles short. The attendant asked if it was off. Southbound I was asked the same question to which I replied "It will be as soon as I park in the pulloff area about 100 feet ahead".

Point is they both asked but did not actually inspect.
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:25 AM   #9
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One of the I77 tunnels in Virginia did have an RV burn up inside (actually it happened more than once) But the worst time it closed the tunnel for several months so repairs to the tunnel could be made.

Saw pictures of one of the incidents black smoke billowed out the ends. Do not remember what the injuries were.

I remember that but any vehicle can catch on fire and burn in a tunnel. As far as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel I was aware they want the propane turned off but at least you can transport it through.

I don't know. While I'm not going through a tunnel with my 40 or 60 pounds of propane I am surrounded by a hundred other vehicles full of gasoline in tanks that are structurally weaker than a propane tank.

I don't ever recall reading in any RV forum or hearing first-hand of anyone who was fined at any of those tunnels. I have heard of people who were asked if they had shut off their propane at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel but they weren't physically checked.

I don't think they're too worried about enforcing it in Baltimore.

Usually mentioning propane and tunnel in any RV forum eventually turns into a huge fear-mongering Festival
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:33 AM   #10
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I went through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel a few weeks ago. Northbound I had already turned the propane off when I stopped a few miles short. The attendant asked if it was off. Southbound I was asked the same question to which I replied "It will be as soon as I park in the pulloff area about 100 feet ahead".

Point is they both asked but did not actually inspect.
You can always run into a lazy employee from the State. But State Police are not lazy, they could just pull you over to spot check if it was. Why risk your life and others as it is just unsafe to travel in a underwater tunnel. I'm glad you turned yours off, Thank you. God forbid something exploded in a tunnel. If the fire doesn't get you the smoke will.... To some it seems as just a big inconvenience "HOW DARE THEY MAKE SUCH A LAW" It's there for a reason. As Oakman pointed out..
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