Local Concern Grows Over Maryland's Plans to Widen Interstates

Montgomery County officials are concerned about the details of a massive $9 billion public-private partnership that would widen three highways in Maryland with the support of Governor Larry Hogan.
September 14, 2018, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"Montgomery County planning officials have estimated that adding four lanes to the Beltway and Interstate 270—a 'worst-case scenario,' according to one official—could consume 209 acres of land across 26 parks in Montgomery County," reports Bethany Rodgers.

The review was conducted in response to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's proposal to spend $9 billion "to build two new toll lanes in each direction on the Maryland section of the Beltway and on I-270 from Bethesda to the Interstate 70 juncture. His proposal also calls for expanding the Baltimore-Washington Parkway."

"The current study—whose scope is limited to a piece of Hogan’s plan—evaluates the potential environmental impacts of traffic improvements on the Beltway through Maryland and on I-270 up to Interstate 370. The study from I-370 to the I-70 junction is slated to begin next year," according to Rogers. Right now, Governor Hogan's toll lanes idea is one of 15 possible options for dealing with congestion on the two corridors. Carol Rubin, the special project manager who represents Montgomery Parks and Planning for the I-495/I-270 Managed Lanes Project

The review left Montgomery County planners "frustrated," according to Rodgers. Carol Rubin, the special project manager who represents Montgomery Parks and Planning for the I-495/I-270 Managed Lanes Project, and other county officials have objected to the criteria the state will use to select the final options.

There's a lot more detail to report with regard to the politics of Governor Hogan's highway widening proposals.

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Published on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Bethesda Magazine
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