Md. may increase speed limit on ICC

An end-to-end trip on the 18-mile highway that connects Montgomery and Prince George\'s counties costs $8. (WTOP/Ari Ashe)

Ari Ashe, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – The Intercounty Connector, a highway that stretches between Gaithersburg and Laurel in Maryland, could see an increase in its speed limit this year.

An engineering study found the speed limit of the highway could be raised from its current limit of 55 mph to 60 mph.

The ICC, which opened in 2011, gives commuters a quick way to get from Interstate 270 to Interstate 95.

“We wanted to have one year of actual operating experience before we looked at speed limits at all,” Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett tells WTOP.

Bartlett says he thinks there is a very good chance the speed limit will be raised to 60 mph, but that the MdTA needs to examine some additional factors.

“That study concluded there is a potential to raise the limit, but it also concluded we must do a detailed crash analysis,” says Bartlett.

“I just want to make sure we have everything ready before we go ahead and implement that, because the most important thing we do is safety.”

The Intercounty Connector has yet to see a fatal crash. Raising the speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph would shave 90 seconds on an end-to-end trip.

The full report of the accident review is expected to be completed by the end of February. If the MdTA decides to increase the speed, it will take two to four months to go into effect.

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