Hogan Project Would Widen I-270, Beltway, Md. 295 and Add Tolls (VIDEO)

With I-270 as a backdrop, Gov. Larry Hogan announced three major road projects for the Maryland suburban region Thursday, targeting new lanes for I-270, the Capital Beltway and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

“Added all together, these projects will substantially and dramatically improve our state highway system and traffic throughout the region,” Hogan said. He estimated the projects would cost more than $9 billion.

The I-270 and beltway projects would be financed through public-private partnership, or P3s, to reduce the effect on taxpayers, Hogan said. They would be the largest P3 projects in North America.

In a P3, the state partners with a private industry partner that would design, construct, operate and maintain a project. The Purple Line is being constructed with a P3.

I-270 would get four new lanes from Frederick to the beltway. The beltway in Maryland would get four new lanes from the American Legion Bridge to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.

As P-3s, motorists could expect tolls on the new lanes, Hogan said. Maryland transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said the P-3 projects would have the same number of existing general purpose lanes would remain toll free.

No official at the announcement would estimate the amount of the tolls. “That’s not a question we’re able to answer at this point,” said Gregory Slater, administrator for the State Highway Administration.

Under Hogan’s proposal, Maryland would take over the Baltimore-Washington Parkway — Md. 295 — from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The department has said that to focus on the nation’s parks, it wants to sell its roadways, Hogan said.

Once the road is purchased, the Maryland Transportation Authority would take over the parkway, adding tolls for the new lanes, Slater said.

Hogan announced the project on a hillside in Gaithersburg next to the park and ride lot on Quince Orchard Road. Traffic from I-270 thundered by.

State Sen. Richard Madaleno of Kensington, a Democrat who is running for governor, attended the announcement and said Hogan would end up raising the tolls on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the state’s other tolled roadways.

The transportation authority manages the state’s tolled roadways, bridges and tunnels. The money is pooled, Madaleno said, so all tolls would increase to pay for the projects.

Hogan said he didn’t need the Democrat-controlled General Assembly’s approval to proceed with the projects. Madaleno said state law required legislator approval before P-3s are awarded.

Madaleno said he didn’t oppose the projects, but he questioned Hogan’s estimate on costs.

“Widening the beltway, I don’t know where you put four more lanes from Silver Spring to Bethesda without an enormous dislocation of homes and parks,” Madaleno said.

The state has already announced it will spend $100 million to improve I-270. Slater said this project was planned with the $100 million in mind.

 

 

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

Comments

One Response to “Hogan Project Would Widen I-270, Beltway, Md. 295 and Add Tolls (VIDEO)”

  1. On September 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm responded with... #

    Ironic that it took a Republican to rescue the “Do-nothing that you can’t tax” sucking vortex of Democrat controlled, and operated Montgomery County. What is surprising is that he did even though that same county council rejected improvements to the “Legion of Doom” bridge in favor of continued gridlock simply because of their unwillingness to do anything that is not associated with promoting and facilitating illegal immigration. That’s why Governor Hogan gets to hear something no politician in MoCo deserves to hear, “Thank you on behalf of all MoCo residents!”




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