2019 | Government

Board of Public Works Delays Vote on Beltway, I-270 Lane Expansion

The plan would expedite toll lanes along both roadways

Beltway

A section of the Capital Beltway, which would be widened under a new proposal from Gov. Larry Hogan

File Photo

The Maryland Board of Public Works has postponed a controversial vote on expediting lane expansion on I-270 and the Capital Beltway.

Gov. Larry Hogan agreed to push the item from the board’s agenda on Wednesday after a request from state Comptroller Peter Franchot, who wrote in a Facebook post that board members weren’t given enough time to consider the potential consequences of the plan.

“This issue is one with far-reaching ramifications for the mobility, economy and livability of the entire National Capital Region,” Franchot wrote. “… I believe that all of us — and most importantly, the public — will benefit from additional time for critical review, questions and input.”

Hogan’s press secretary, Shareese Churchill, confirmed the delay in an email sent Tuesday evening.

“At the Comptroller’s request, the Board of Public Works will consider this item at its next meeting on December 18th,” she wrote.

Before the item was removed, Hogan asked the board to vote on a plan that would allow his administration to begin accepting bids for toll lanes along the length of the Beltway and the southern section of I-270.

This would expedite the expansion of both highways. Hogan previously agreed to focus the initial phase of the project on widening sections of I-270 after a June vote by the board.

It would reprioritize toll lanes along the northeastern section of I-495, up to the interchange with I-95 in Prince George’s County. That portion of the plan has been widely unpopular with Montgomery County officials, who worry the new lanes would encroach on county- and federally owned parkland.

In late November, a Montgomery County planning official suggested suing the state over its lane-widening proposal.