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Full Intercounty Connector to open soon; tolls not yet set

Monday - 10/24/2011, 10:58am  ET

ICC512.jpg
A view of the new section of the Intercounty Connector due to open soon. (WTOP/Max Smith)

Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The Intercounty Connector could cut commute times and make other trips between and across Prince George's and Montgomery counties much easier, but how much will that convenience cost you?

Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Secretary Harold Bartlett says exact rates haven't been set yet for the entire length of the toll road, but officials do have the allowable ranges.

During rush hour, cars without an E-ZPass will have to pay somewhere between 38 cents and 53 cents a mile. The range is 15 cents to 45 cents per mile during overnight hours, and 30 cents to 45 cents per mile for all other times.

The ICC stretches about 18 miles from Interstate 370 in the Shady Grove area to Interstate 95 in Laurel, but only 16 miles are tolled. So a complete trip during peak times could run drivers without E-ZPass anywhere from just over $6 up to $8.50, depending on the MdTA's decision.

With E-ZPass, the rate ranges are lower: 25 cents to 35 cents a mile in peak times, 10 cents to 30 cents a mile overnight and 20 cents to 30 cents at other times. That means it could cost drivers with the transponders somewhere from $4 to $5.60, pending the MdTA's decision.

"We're very hopeful that we will open before the end of this calendar year, and we will certainly make sure that we announce the toll rates in plenty of time before that opening date," Bartlett says.

ICC Project Manager Melinda Peters says traveling from one end of the road to the other should take about 20 minutes. The speed limit is 55 miles per hour.

"The hope really is that we get traffic off the local roadway networks, and really provide an alternative for people to get across the county," she says.

Driving down the two new sections of the ICC that are due to open to complete the roadway, there are portions of the sound walls that still need to be installed, grass that still needs to grow in and construction equipment on the side of the road.

The first section of the ICC opened in February.

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