2021 | Transportation

Three proposals received for portion of Beltway widening project

Improvements planned for American Legion Bridge, I-270

A traffic camera shows vehicles about to cross the American Legion Bridge into Virginia around 9:15 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2020.

Photo from Maryland Department of Transportation traffic camera

Maryland transportation officials have received three proposals from companies to do predevelopment work on the American Legion Bridge and I-270 to improve congestion.

The Maryland Department of Transportation announced the submissions in a press release Friday afternoon. A proposal is expected to be selected in February.

The predevelopment work will be part of Phase 1 of the public-private partnership (P3) program proposal to widen I-495 and I-270 to alleviate a traffic bottleneck on the stretch. The project would be reimbursed by toll revenues.

The specific portion of the project for which the county received proposals is to improve “I-495 from the vicinity of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia, across and including the American Legion Bridge, to I-270, and I-270 from I-495 to I-70,” according to the project’s website.

“This level of competition [from three proposals] gives us the ability to choose the right partner, who can collaborate with us and key stakeholders in the community to deliver the highest value and most innovative design ideas for improved travel options, reduced environmental impacts, new transit connections and direct bike and pedestrian access across a new American Legion Bridge,” Greg Slater, the state’s transportation secretary, said in the release.

The three companies that submitted a proposal for Phase 1 included:
● Accelerate MarylandExpress Partners: Itinera Infrastructure & Concessions, Halmar International and Iterna S.p.A, Atkins North America, Gannett Fleming
● Accelerate Maryland Partners: Transurban (USA) Operations, Macquarie Infrastructure Developments, Dewberry Engineers, and Stantec Consulting Services
● Capital Express Mobility Partners: Cintra Global SE, John Laing Investments Limited, Ferrovial Agroman US Corp., AECOM Technical Services, and HNTB Corporation

Meanwhile, the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study will progress with an anticipated announcement of a recommended preferred alternative in the “coming months,” then the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Record of Decision by Fall 2021, according to state officials.

But state officials have yet to respond to public comments expressing concerns regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The state’s Board of Public Works will not receive a contract for the final award to construct the managed lanes until the FEIS is completed.

“The earliest that contract would be brought to BPW would be summer 2022, if a build alternative is identified in the Record of Decision,” the release said. “The current solicitation is part of a progressive approach with predevelopment work being completed before taking any construction contract to BPW.”

Briana Adhikusuma can be reached at briana.adhikusuma@bethesdamagazine.com.