“We built a highway that will be there not just for today, but for the future, so of course we built in extra capacity,” says Harold Bartlett, head of the MdTA.
He also says vehicle volume on the road is right at or slightly above projections for this point in the road’s history.
With all the open space, Leggett says the time to raise the speed limit is now.
The MdTA is studying the possibility of raising the speed limit, but officials maintain the road was designed to handle a top speed of 60 mph. The authority also notes that raising the speed limit to 60 mph would only shave off about 1.5 minutes of travel time if a driver drove the full length of the the highway.
The 18.8-mile ICC is Maryland’s first all-electronic toll road. It costs $4 during rush hours to ride end-to-end. Work is under way on the final one-mile stretch between Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 in Laurel. That segment will open late next year or in early 2014.