Public Invited to Bethesda Workshop on Study of Easing I-270, Beltway Congestion

Public Invited to Bethesda Workshop on Study of Easing I-270, Beltway Congestion

State transportation officials are looking at adding toll lanes on the major highways

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The Capital Beltway near the I-270 interchange in Bethesda

VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS USER FAMARTIN

State transportation officials this month will host a Bethesda workshop on plans to ease congestion along the Beltway and Interstate 270.

The July 25 meeting at Thomas W. Pyle Middle School will be the last in a series of workshops on an environmental study of options for dealing with existing and future traffic, an early step in the state’s exploration of adding toll lanes to I-270 and I-495. The study covers the Maryland portion of the Beltway and I-270 from the Beltway split to Interstate 370, according to a Maryland Department of Transportation press release.

MDOT earlier this year held open houses to gather feedback and used the input to prepare a preliminary range of strategies for dealing with the two traffic-packed highways. The state will explain these options during four workshops scheduled for July 17, 18, 24 and 25.

The July 18 gathering will happen at Clarksburg High School, and the first and third workshops will take place in Prince George’s County.

Each workshop will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with roughly half-hour presentations scheduled for the beginning and halfway point, the news release stated. Staff will be on hand to answer questions, and visitors will also be able to check out static board displays with information about the transportation plans.

A virtual workshop will be available online starting July 17.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) last year unveiled his proposal for a roughly $9 billion project that would feature four toll lanes–two in each direction–along I-270 from Frederick to the Beltway and two new toll lanes in each direction along the entire Maryland section of I-495.

A public-interest advocacy group, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund on Frontier Group, recently ranked the plan as among the nation’s nine worst “highway boondoggles” of the year.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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