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Interstate 97

Interstate 97

Total length: 17 miles (27 km)
Southern terminus: Annapolis, MD, at JCT US 50/US 301/unsigned I-595
Northern terminus: Glen Burnie, MD, at JCT I-695

States traversed & length in each:

  • Maryland — 17 miles (27 km)

Major cities along route:


Junctions with non-related Interstates:

  • Interstate 595 (NOT SIGNED): Southern terminus in Annapolis, MD
  • Interstate 695: Northern terminus in Glen Burnie, MD

Related loops and spurs:


Length I’ve traveled: Entire length

Time zones:
Eastern — Entire length

Counties traversed:
Maryland — Anne Arundel

A quick hypertext drive: Interstate 97 is the shortest two-digit Interstate highway and the only one to exist in only one county, much less only one state. I question whether the Interstate 97 designation should even exist; that stretch of freeway might be a better use of the Interstate 595 designation than I-595’s current “secret” home on the U.S. Routes 50/301 freeway.

That said, I-97 connects Maryland’s largest city, Baltimore, with its capital of Annapolis. Both cities are very important in national defense — Baltimore with its natural deep-water harbor, and Annapolis with the U.S. Naval Academy — so given the national-defense purpose of the Interstate system, the two cities ought to be connected with an Interstate. Technically, I-97 doesn’t actually reach either city, terminating west of Annapolis and south of Baltimore, but it does cover the lion’s share of the distance between the two.

The entire length is mostly flat, with some small rolling hills near the south end. The highway is four lanes wide south of the Maryland Route 32 freeway, and six lanes wide north of there. Other than that, there really isn’t much worth mentioning about I-97.

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