They Built an Interstate on Top of a River? The Jones Falls, Baltimore, Maryland


As a preview of my discussion of the Jones Falls Valley, which cuts through the center of Baltimore, I present you with one of the greatest ecological crimes in modern history. The city of Baltimore, always seeking the path of least political resistance, spotted an easy target in Mother Nature, and when the time came to build the Jones Falls Expressway, it was an easy decision to build on top of a river than crash through neighborhoods. Much of the interstate is literally one long bridge, and you can spot the bridge portions because they’re not blacktopped. This is the view at the Union Avenue crossing under the Jones Falls Expressway and over the Jones Falls River, where I took these photographs.

I like how crooked the photos are–very much life out of balance.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris says:

    I've read about that before; it's incredible isn't it? We should do that to the River Des Peres.

  2. icetrout says:

    heading out this Easter morning to flyfish for brown trout under the 695 Baltimore Beltway… cheers, icetrout. 🙂

  3. Jamie says:

    Did you know that a large chunk of Druid Hill Park was chopped off from the park when the built the Expressway in the 60s? The whole formal promenade, which was probably the grandest part of the park, originally started on Mount Royal Avenue over by where the Maryland Institute Collage of Art (MICA) is now. Im not sure if you noticed it but the grand pillars that once held the gate to the park are still there. Only now they grace the entrance of an onramp to the expressway. When you are driving on 83 and are passing Reservoir Hill, you can see the beautiful mansions that onced faced the prominde. Now they face 83. So sad 🙁

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Yes, I remember the pillars well. Such a waste.

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