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Old 04-04-2024, 10:50 AM   #1
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Avoiding Baltimore VA to PA

With the Key bridge accident my usual route is no longer available. Coming home in May from Williamsburg VA to Lancaster PA area. Thinking of avoiding DC and Baltimore by heading toward Gettysburg and the coming east. Does anyone have a route suggestion? Whats RT17 like? Any good tips appreciated.


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Old 04-04-2024, 11:16 AM   #2
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In kind of the same boat. We are in Southern MD and any trip we make north, we had to go over the bridge because the tunnel has propane restrictions. We are probably going to just take the 495 beltway around DC to 95N and just take that all the way up into DE and beyond...

17 is a great route, but be mindful of police activity, they monitor pretty closely (it is a heavily travelled route for people going to/coming from VA Beach). If you take 17 to 301, you end up in the same scenario I referenced above (17 -> 301N -> 495 -> 95N). But once on 95, in your circumstance you can take 695 because it will be going 695 in the opposite direction of the bridge.

Interesting note while checking this out to be sure, google maps has already removed the bridge from existence.
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Old 04-04-2024, 12:00 PM   #3
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This region is my home country, I learned to drive on US17 45 years ago. US17 works well, but there are more traffic lights every year. If you head north on US17 at Fredericksburg, VA towards Warrenton, VA, you will find moderate local traffic for about 5 miles or so, then a fairly easy drive. At Warrenton, there will be more traffic lights and traffic until you get past Haymarket, VA on US15. Leesburg VA sometimes has some traffic issues. After Leesburg, there is a stretch of US15 that is two lanes, and sometimes moves below the speed limit until you get to the Potomac river. Frederick MD has a few lights, but north towards Gettysburg moves well and is a nice drive. This route is slower than the interstate, but when I95, I495, and and/or I695 back up with traffic, then this drive can end up being quicker, definitely will result in lower blood pressure.
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Old 04-04-2024, 12:06 PM   #4
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Semperfi24,
If you are going north on I95 from southern Maryland, look at taking US301 to Annapolis MD, cross on the Bay bridge and continue up US301 toward Wilmington DE. That would avoid Baltimore. Just watch the times when the Bay bridge has heavy traffic.
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Old 04-04-2024, 03:25 PM   #5
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I was going to suggest 301 as well. We are heading south on that route next week
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Old 04-04-2024, 05:37 PM   #6
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We leave Florida Sunday for De and will do the 301 route but we have always done that already. To get to Lancaster I would look at the western route 17 to 15 or take 495 west towards Towson then 83 to York but O bet traffic will be nasty.
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Old 04-29-2024, 07:13 AM   #7
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I always take I-64 from Richmond to I81 then PA
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Old 04-29-2024, 07:47 AM   #8
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We get on US 17 at Fredericksburg, VA and stay at a nice Walmart. Then we follow 17 West to I-66 and then eventually to I-81. It is a beautiful ride with no stress.

It is one of those rides where you keep telling yourself "I could live in this area of the country."
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Old 04-29-2024, 07:58 AM   #9
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To follow up. We did Rt301 from Richmond Va To Wilmington DE last week. It was down right pleasant. Small slow downs going through towns but that just added to the fun. Very low stress.
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Old 04-29-2024, 08:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
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... take 495 west towards Towson...
That should be 695. 495 goes around DC.
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Old 06-26-2024, 06:58 AM   #11
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I always take I-64 from Richmond to I81 then PA
I would suggest one adjustment to this route, because I-81 is a major truck route, some days it seems like more tractor-trailers than cars. Take the Zions Crossroad/ Gordonsville exit off of I-64 for Rt 15 north. It is a couple of exits before Charlottesville going westbound.

IPcamper previously explained this route well driving north from Northern Virginia.

I am alocal and driving Rt 15 north from I-64 is a pleasant drive through the Virginia countryside, generally more traffic from the Warenten area until you cross the Potomac at Point of Rocks, and continues with more pleasant countryside through Maryland and PA past Gettysburg to Harrisburg .

Once in Harrisburg it tends to revert to heavy but tolerable traffic until you rejoin the truck traffic on I-81.

This route, even with local traffic, can take either the same or less time than going west of Charlottesville on I-64 to I-81north, and a lot less stress in driving.

Sidenote, if you are heading to New England, consider taking I-84 north towards Scranton, (and Connecticut) The intersection is east of Harrisburg off with I-81. I have driven this way multiple times from VA to NH for many years and although takes a little it longer than driving the various routes close around NY and NJ, it is a much more relaxed and less stress drive than other routes.
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Old 06-26-2024, 07:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DennisB56 View Post
With the Key bridge accident my usual route is no longer available. Coming home in May from Williamsburg VA to Lancaster PA area. Thinking of avoiding DC and Baltimore by heading toward Gettysburg and the coming east. Does anyone have a route suggestion? Whats RT17 like? Any good tips appreciated.


Thanks
We did this in April

64 to 295 in Richmond. To 301. All the way to Wilmington DE. Cut back west into PA.

301 is a down right pleasant drive. Yes has a few stop lights and delays in small towns but we didnít mind at all. Way less stressful than the DC beltway
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Old 06-26-2024, 10:12 AM   #13
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We did this in April

64 to 295 in Richmond. To 301. All the way to Wilmington DE. Cut back west into PA.

301 is a down right pleasant drive. Yes has a few stop lights and delays in small towns but we didnít mind at all. Way less stressful than the DC beltway
Just a fyi the Delaware portion of 301 is now a toll road as it is a by-pass around Middletown to connect with Route 1
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