Grand Prix of Baltimore 2013: Downtown streets to close for annual race

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BALTIMORE (AP/ABC7) - Transportation officials are warning motorists to plan for numerous road closures as the Grand Prix of Baltimore race course is completed on downtown streets.

Closures went into effect overnight and more are scheduled during the day Thursday along the 2-mile course near the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Grand Prix of Baltimore events start Friday and run through Sunday. Officials say roads should be open again by Tuesday morning.

The main event, the IZOD IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Baltimore, starts at 2:40 p.m. Sunday and is preceded by several other races and qualifying sessions.

Transportation officials are warning motorists to plan ahead and find alternate routes. The street closures will also disrupt the MTA light rail and numerous bus routes that would normally cross the race course.

The Maryland Transportation Authority is cautioning drivers to avoid the following areas that will be closed throughout the weekend:

Wednesday through Monday: Northbound Interstate 395 closed at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. No access to Conway, Howard and Lee streets

Thursday through Monday: Southbound I-395 closed between Howard Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The ramp from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Lee Street will also be closed.

Friday through Monday: Heavy traffic along I-95 and I-895.

MTA officials say the agency will lift construction-related closures in the area through Tuesday night to ease congestion throughout the downtown Baltimore area.

Officials recommend that people coming up to the city use alternate routes throughout the weekend, including I-695, the Harbor Tunnel, U.S. Route 40, O'Donnell Street, Boston Street, Eastern Avenue or Caton Avenue.

ABC7's Amanda Meadows contributed to this report.