US 1 in Maryland

By | October 26, 2022


US 1
Get started Washington
End Rising Sun
Length 84 mi
Length 135 km
District of Columbia








Perry Hall

Bel Air

Rising Sun


According to act-test-centers, US 1 is a US Highway in the US state of Maryland. The road forms an underlying link between the cities of Washington and Baltimore and the northeastern part of the state. Much of the road passes through urbanized areas. The road is 135 kilometers long.

Travel directions

Rhode Island Avenue in Washington, DC

The US 1 at Bel Air.

Washington DC

US 1 in Virginia joins Interstate 395 in Virginia over the Potomac River and thus enters the city of Washington, DC. US 1 then crosses 14th Street, right past the Washington Monument on the National Mall. The road here is a six-lane urban arterial. US 1 then turns east on Constitution Avenue and is then double-numbered with US 50. The road passes through several federal agencies, then splits into two one-way streets, 9th Street and 6th Street, then heads north through Mount Vernon Square, before US 1 turns northeast on 2×2 Rhode Island Avenue. Just before that, the US 50 already turns off on New York Avenue in the direction of Annapolis. It passes through older Washington neighborhoods and US 1 is one of the more important underlying links. The road then becomes slightly wider with 2×3 lanes. At Eastern Avenue one then leaves the city of Washington and the District of Columbia, after which one enters the state of Maryland.

Suburban Washington

In North Brentwood, the road crosses the Anacostia River, then turns north into Riverdale Park on Baltimore Avenue, a four-lane urban arterial. The road here runs through the somewhat older suburbs of Washington, rather small houses on fairly large lots with many trees. The road then runs past the University of Maryland, a very large university. One then crosses the SR-193 grade separation, which is a kind of semi-expressway through the northern suburbs of Washington. Not far after that, it connects with Washington ‘s ring road, Interstate 495. After the ring road you enter an interurban area, which lies between Washington and Baltimoreis. This area is mostly built-up and is sandwiched between I-95 and State Route 295. US 1 then runs northeast along a railroad track. In Savage, one crosses the State Route 32 or Patuxent Freeway, which separates the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.


The US 1 at Laurel.

According to liuxers, the US 1 also changes name here and is then called Washington Avenue. You pass through an area with some fragmented industrial estates. In Elkridge, one crosses State Route 100, an east-west highway from Columbia to Severn. Not far after that, the connection with Interstate 895 follows. Barely 100 meters after, the connection with Interstate 195 follows. US 1 then leaves Washington Boulevard and heads north on Southwestern Boulevard, through the suburb of Halethorpe. One then passes under two freeways, Interstate 95 and Baltimore ‘s beltway, Interstate 695. There are no direct connections. Then one comes to the city of Baltimoreyourself. The road continues on Wilkins Avenue through the west of the city, later north on Fulton Avenue. One passes through Baltimore’s old neighborhoods that are somewhat run-down. One then crosses US 40, an east-west connection that forms an isolated stretch of highway that should once have been part of Interstate 70, which terminates on the west side of Baltimore. US 1 turns east on North Avenue after a mile or so, continuing north of downtown. These are Baltimore’s slums, with many vacant lots that once housed homes. This is followed by the connection with Interstate 83.

The road then comes to a dead end at a cemetery and so turns northeast on Belair Road, an arterial road from Baltimore to the outskirts. Belair Road is a four-lane urban arterial that runs through densely built and old neighborhoods. The urban landscape changes slightly in the northeast of Baltimore, the old mansions become detached houses. These are small houses on fairly large lots. One then leaves the city of Baltimore, after which the road continues through the northeastern suburbs. There is then a cloverleaf connection with Baltimore ‘s ring road, Interstate 695. You then enter a suburban area with some more height differences. The last major suburb is Perry Hall, after which the road continues northeast as Belair Road.

Northeastern Maryland

After the Gunpowder River follows a rural area with quite a lot of forest. The road runs as a four-lane main road with no central separation to Bel Air, a regional town. US 1 bypasses it, then narrows to one lane in each direction. This area is sloping with an alternation of forests and meadows. Via the Conowingo Dam you cross the wide Susquehanna River, the difference in height is about 30 meters. Immediately after, US 222 begins in Conowingo and then runs to Lancaster in Pennsylvania. The road then continues to the Pennsylvania border, after which US 1 in Pennsylvania continues as a highway to Philadelphia.


US 1 in Maryland, presumably 1930s, location unknown.

The Washington and Baltimore Turnpike was granted by the state in 1812 and ran between Baltimore and Washington. Land was purchased in 1909 to build US 1 northeast of the city of Baltimore. Washington-Baltimore Boulevard was paved by the State of Maryland in 1914 and became part of US 1 in 1926 when the US Highway system was created.

US 1 is the main street for most places on the route and has never been developed to a high standard, although many parts have been widened to 4 lanes. It is striking that US 1 does not pass through the center of Baltimore, but makes a detour through the west and north of the city.

In Washington, DC, US 1 uses Rhode Island Avenue, one of the original boulevards according to the L’Enfant Plan of 1791 from which Washington was built. In 1906 the first bridge opened over the Potomac River between Arlington and Washington, D.C. This was simply called the ‘Highway Bridge’. In 1950, a second bridge, the 14th Street Bridge, opened, handling traffic only to Washington. The old bridge from 1906 then only handled traffic towards Arlington. In 1962, the old bridge from 1906 was replaced by a modern 4-lane bridge. In 1972 a third bridge with 2×2 lanes of the express lanes openedfrom I-395. US 1 splits over these bridges, the west bridge handles traffic from US 1 to Arlington, the middle bridge handles traffic to the express lanes of I-395, and the east bridge handles traffic from US 1 to Washington.

Originally there was a bridge over the Susquehanna River, the Conowingo Bridge which was built between 1818 and 1820. The bridge was destroyed several times during floods. A covered bridge was built in 1859. In 1909 the bridge was rebuilt as a steel bridge after the wooden bridge burned down. Between 1926 and 1928, the Conowingo Dam, a dam with a road connection, was built 3 kilometers downstream, after which US 1 was routed over this dam. The bridge was subsequently demolished. The US 1 has therefore only passed over the bridge between 1926 and 1928, since then US 1 has passed over the dam.

The largest US 1 reroutes were a Rising Sun bypass opened in 1957 and a Bel Air bypass completed in the early 1960s. North of Bel Air, however, the bypass had a missing section, traffic had to be on secondary roads for decades until a 2×2 lane intersection was opened in 2000. Elsewhere, US 1 has largely remained on the existing early 20th century route. Interstate 95 has been constructed parallel to US 1, the entire route has been replaced parallel by highways since 1964, so that there was no need to further expand parts of US 1 early on.

Traffic intensities

The section through suburban Washington is quite busy, with up to 52,000 vehicles in College Park. In particular, the lack of suburban highways plays a role here. The section between I-495 and Laurel will remain busy with 35,000 vehicles due to its proximity to two freeways. This intensity continues as far as Baltimore. In Baltimore itself, the road is a bit quieter with between 10,000 and 20,000 vehicles, due to the number of alternatives in the area. At I-695 in the northeast, 48,000 vehicles drive, before descending to 24,000 vehicles towards Bel Air. Further northeast, the road is quieter with 11,000 vehicles per day in 2007. 8,000 vehicles cross the Pennsylvania border every day.

US 1 in Maryland