Maryland's Controversial Highway Widening Proposal Scaled Back

Interstate 270, the Capital Beltway, will no longer by widened as part of the I-495/I-270 Managed Lanes Project.

May 13, 2021, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Highway Widening

Maryland Department of Transportation / I-495/I-270 Managed Lanes Project

Briana Adhikusuma reports: "The Maryland Department of Transportation has removed the Capital Beltway from a plan to widen Interstate 270, after the broader plan drew months of opposition from local officials, residents and environmental advocates."

As noted by Adhikusuma, the project has faced numerous criticisms in recent years, as the project worked through its draft environmental impact statement and went out to bid.

"MDOT’s announced the change on Wednesday, saying there is a new recommended preferred alternative for the project’s first phase. The new alternative will only focus on construction of a new American Legion Bridge and two high-occupancy toll (HOT) managed lanes in each direction from I-270 to I-370," according to Adhikusuma.

"As part of the new alternative, the proposal includes adding one HOT managed lane and converting an existing high-occupancy vehicle lane into a HOT managed lane on I-270 from I-495 to north of I-370, and on the I-270 eastern spur from east of Md. 187 to I-270."

There is no change proposed to the segment of the project on Interstate 495 east of Interstate 270's eastern spur, however.

For the next steps in the project's evolution, expect a late summer release of the Supplement Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project’s first phase.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 in Bethesda Magazine

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