Study aims to ease congestion through toll lanes on Capital Beltway, I-270

LINTHICUM, Md. — The last of four “open houses” for public comment on the study of a plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 was held Tuesday night, but Maryland transportation officials are welcoming public comments through May 1.

The study will look at how capacity can be added to Maryland roadways, which are already among the most congested in the nation, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

According to the fact sheet supplied by MDOT, “managed lanes” would run along the Capital Beltway from south of the American Legion Bridge to east of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge; on I-270, the lanes would run from the Beltway to just south of I-70.

It’s part of a $9 billion plan unveiled by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in September. Hogan, who’s running for re-election, said the project would be “transformational” and ease congestion on stretches of the highway that are increasingly approaching gridlock.

A recent contract to manage the project was scrapped after concerns that Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn had ties to one of the companies given preliminary approval. Rahn had worked for HNTB for five years before becoming Maryland’s transportation chief.

“We are moving ahead and we will be delivering these projects,” Rahn said when asked if the project would be slowed by the cancellation of the $68.5 million project.

“I am excluding myself from a rebid and teams will be available to form consortiums and move ahead,” Rahn added, explaining that the State Highway Administration would oversee the management contract.

The public can comment through 

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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