Delegates Seek Delay in Beltway/I-270 Widening Vote

Sixty-nine members of the House of Delegates have asked the Board of Public Works to postpone action on the I-495/I-270 widening project. The project is scheduled to be up for a preliminary vote at the board’s Wednesday meeting.

The Board of Public Works is a three-member body consisting of Gov. Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy Kopp that votes on major state contracts.

The delegates are asking for the delay so the BPW can have “adequate time” to review the proposal and to receive more information from the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The project is being funded through a public-private partnership, or P3, which would allow a company to design, build and maintain the widening project, and in return receive toll revenue.

Montgomery County officials have raised concerns that parts of the Capital Beltway and I-270 would need to claim houses and parks to widen the highways. And Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring abuts the beltway’s footprint.

In a letter to the BPW, the delegates say public meetings on the widening project “have been packed with skeptical citizens.”

“The BPW should decline to approve this item on December 4th and, instead, give yourselves and the public sufficient time to understand what MDOT is now proposing,” the letter says.

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One Response to “Delegates Seek Delay in Beltway/I-270 Widening Vote”

  1. Avatar
    On December 2, 2019 at 7:20 pm responded with... #

    From Peter Franchot’s Facebook page (posted about 9 hours ago): Earlier this morning, I requested that Maryland Department of Transportation Item 6-GM be removed from Wednesday’s agenda of the Board of Public Works, and placed instead on the agenda for the next meeting on December 18.

    This item, as proposed, would substantially accelerate and broaden the existing agreement to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, and contains important revisions to the proposal that was approved by the BPW this past June.

    This issue is one with far-reaching ramifications for the mobility, economy and livability of the entire National Capital Region. It will, furthermore, establish transportation policy precedents that will affect how we build highway and transit infrastructure throughout Maryland for many years to come. I believe that all of us – and most importantly, the public – will benefit from this additional time for critical review, questions and input.

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