Economy

Hogan announces $9B plan to widen 3 highways

Hogan announces $9B plan to widen 3 highways”

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 plan would add four lanes each to the Capital Beltway and I-270 to Frederick, in addition to widening the Baltimore-Washington Parkway by taking over ownership from the federal government.

The proposal aims to create additional traffic capacity along three major state thoroughfares: I-270, I-495 and I-295. "Today we are turning Maryland's celebrated innovation into real action".

Gov. Larry Hogan used this map to illustrate a major traffic improvement project that he announced on Thursday. On the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, four new lanes would extend from Baltimore to the District. Hogan said he has already met with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke about the transfer, and instructed state staffers to "finalize the details".

Such public-private-partnerships in which the private sector helps build roads in return for revenue the project generates have become increasingly common. The state will be seeking private developers to design, build, finance, operate and maintain new lanes on I-495 between the American Legion Bridge and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 between I-495 and I-70.

There's not yet a timeline on when work could start, or when the new lanes may open.

"This problem has been marring the quality of life of Maryland citizens for decades", Hogan said at a news conference.

Hogan's office is calling it the Traffic Relief Plan largest public-private partnership plan in North America. (D-Montgomery), a candidate for governor, criticized Hogan's plan, saying tolls would be high and homes would be razed to make room for the highway expansion. Stay tuned for more.



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