The first of four public hearings held last night on the proposed Intercounty Connector (ICC) brought out opinions on both sides of the aisle. The ICC would connect a major business corridor in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, I-95, the Port of Baltimore, and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Construction on the 18-mile highway is slated to begin next year. "We want businesses and the general public to have mobility options that will reduce travel times," said Norris McDonald, president of the African American Environmentalist Association, a group that backs the highway. Opponents of the project argue that the highway would bypass areas in need of economic development in favor of areas that are already full of jobs. Suburban sprawl is also of great concern. "The ICC threatens all the positive steps that the state, Montgomery County and Prince George's County have taken to grow smartly," said Cheryl Cort of the Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities. Regional officials say that the highway has been in master plans for 40 years and it is a crucial step towards relieving roadway congestion around Washington.
Thanks to Peter Buryk