DERWOOD, Md. — Standing on a pathway alongside Maryland Route 200, current Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, honored his former boss and fellow member of the GOP, former Gov. Robert Ehrlich, by announcing the roadway would be named in Ehrlich’s honor.
It’s not unusual for landmarks and roadways to be named in honor of living Marylanders, but looking over his shoulder at the large sign along the ICC, Ehrlich smiled and said, “It’s a little weird” but added it also gave him a great sense of satisfaction.
Hogan and Ehrlich recounted the decades-long fight to get the east-west corridor built. The plans for the roadway were first drawn up in the 1950s. “Over the decades, plans for the ICC started and stalled many times” Hogan said.
He credited Ehrlich for reviving the plans for the 18 mile east-west link and pushing it through.
Ehrlich joked that in 2002, he spotted aging signs along the roadway saying an ICC study was underway, and that some of them were so old they harked back to the Eisenhower administration. “I found one that said ‘InterCounty Connector study underway; I like Ike!'”
Ehrlich said the completion of the roadway was the product of endless meetings, hearings, and planning sessions. He added that there was bipartisan support, and gave a shoutout to former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, a Democrat, who was a champion of the roadway despite prolonged, and vocal opposition.
“Doug Duncan was instrumental in getting this done,” Ehrlich said. That bipartisanship continued despite the fact that Duncan was eyeing a run at the governor’s office at the time, which would have him facing Ehrlich in a general election.
The ICC, which links Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, is the first all-electronic toll road in the state, and the first leg was completed and opened for use in 2011 after years of legal roadblocks.
Hogan told the crowd at Thursday’s dedication that the ICC ridership has increased from 30,000 vehicles a day to nearly 65,000 vehicles a day since June 2012.
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