The new traffic lights are being installed at both the Charles St Roundabout and the off ramp from I-695 coming from the east, hoping to alleviate some of the traffic issues the area has faced for some time.

This is all part of the Charles St Bridge Construction project.

The light structures were installed over the last few days, but I am not sure when they will be used in practice. The roundabout will be going away completely, and the light will take its’ place.The State Highway Administration’s website site does not have exact details as to whether the light will be functioning first or if the roundabout will be closed. There could possibly be more closures as the transition occurs.

The Charles St entrance to 695 East is still closed coming south from Bellona.

Earlier Charles St closures included ramps to 695 W and lanes on the main road and the Beltway.

The SHA’s site says other changes will be occurring, including:

Reconfiguration of the two-way access road/ramp from Bellona Avenue extended to westbound I-695 and northbound I-83. SHA will separate the local traffic to the businesses from the ramp traffic.

– Removal of the roundabout at the Charles Street and Bellona Avenue intersection and the construction of a new traffic signal and turning lanes.

– Widening of Charles Street to provide an auxiliary lane on northbound Charles Street between Kenilworth Drive and the ramp to the I-695 inner loop and to add five-foot bicycle lanes in each direction between Bellona Avenue and Kenilworth Drive.

– Construction of sidewalks and other pedestrian accommodations on Charles Street.

– Addition of an auxiliary lane along westbound I-695 (Outer Loop) between the York Road (MD 45) interchange and the Charles Street interchange.

– Aesthetic enhancements, such as architectural treatments and ornamental lighting on the bridge, to distinguish it as a gateway to the Lutherville community and the Charles Street corridor. Charles Street is a Maryland Scenic Byway and a National Scenic Byway.

– A landscaped median along Charles Street between the bridge and Kenilworth Drive.

These will be great changes for the area, and should be completed in Spring of 2012.