Hogan Announces Major Project To Add Toll Lanes on I-270, Beltway

Plan will rely on partnership with private industry, governor said


Published:

Gov. Larry Hogan used this map to illustrate a major traffic improvement project that he announced on Thursday.

BETHANY RODGERS

Update 3:30 p.m.: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday unveiled plans for an estimated $9 billion transportation project that will involve adding toll lanes to Interstate 270 and the Beltway.

The proposal aims to create additional traffic capacity along three major state thoroughfares: I-270, I-495 and I-295.

The plan is to build four lanes—two in each direction—extending along I-270 from the Beltway to Frederick, State Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said.

It also calls for adding two new toll lanes in each direction on the Beltway from the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge to the American Legion Memorial Bridge, he said.

The state would search for a private partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new lanes stretching from the bridge to Frederick.

The state also is looking to expand I-295 and assume control of the road, which is now managed by the National Park Service. Hogan said he met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the plan and has directed state transportation officials to move forward with transfer negotiations.

Speaking at a press conference in Gaithersburg, Hogan said the improvement will “provide relief from the traffic congestion that has plagued Marylanders for years.”

Hogan said no existing lanes on the Beltway or I-270 will be converted into toll lanes. He said the project hasn't yet been designed, but he expects the state has enough land to accommodate the new toll lanes without significant acquisitions.

Hogan said he directed the transportation secretary Thursday to put out a request for information from the business community about potential project partnerships. Rahn said it will take about three months to gather responses, after which the state will move on to the next step in finding a private partner.

Rahn estimated it will be about 18 months before state officials have a project timeline.

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