Congestion on I-270 Credit: By Jumpy via Wikimedia

Before revealing the big news about the Purple Line Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan announced a number of improvements to state roadways, including $100 million in funding for a pilot project to reduce congestion on I-270 in Montgomery and Frederick counties.

The pilot project is planned to test congestion solutions such as allowing motorists to drive in the highway shoulder during rush hours, allowing buses to drive in the shoulder and possibly using traffic lights to better control traffic entering the highway—a process known as “ramp metering.”

The funding is part of the governor’s plan to invest $2 billion in state funds to improve highways, roads and bridges. The governor said the figure includes $1.35 billion dollars in new funding in addition to the $625 million already in the budget for roadway improvements.

“This additional investment will be used to upgrade and preserve the state highway system,” Hogan said during a press conference Thursday. “This includes repaving roads all across Maryland; fixing our bridges, improving roadways and pedestrian safety and improving traffic flow.”

The governor also announced Thursday the state would move forward with the Purple Line light-rail project, although the amount of state funds used on the 16-mile rail project would be significantly reduced.