Skip to comments.Beltway, I-270 toll lane plan to move forward next week
Posted on 04/29/2019 11:02:46 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Toll lane plans for parts of the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 are set to move forward next week, including plans for improvements to the American Legion Bridge.
Marylands Board of Public Works Gov. Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot is set to formally designate the planned toll lanes as a public-private partnership on May 8 and to support plans for separate phases of construction.
Once the public-private partnership designation is approved, the state expects to quickly issue a request for qualifications from private companies so that a short list of the private firms or groups that would design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Beltway toll lanes from the American Legion Bridge to Interstate 95 could be finalized in July.
There is still some sharp opposition to the plan from groups who would prefer transit options also be included.
Private groups would lead final design and construction to rebuild the regular roadway lanes and to add the toll lanes. The state will still be responsible for maintenance of the regular lanes after the project is done and would provide certain tolling operations support. The private company or companies would operate and maintain the toll lanes under a 50-year contract that entitles them to all toll revenues after any required debt payments.
The preferred design alternative is expected to be selected this winter from options for single or double toll lanes each way that may or may not allow HOV users and buses to ride free. Vehicles in the variably priced toll lanes would be guaranteed speeds of at least 45 mph, so the state appears warmer to two-lane options that would provide room for drivers to pass each other.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtop.com ...
Maryland “Freak State” PING!
They got a whiff of those $40 dollar tolls on 66 from variable rates and are drooling.
Better to have lanes everyone would use.
Maryland pols will probably pander to the commuter lobby anyhow. The state will spend many billions of dollars. It will not, of course, reform Davis Bacon, so much of this will go to the usual kickback arrangements. Drivers will get years of construction delays. Development pressure will mount, and Montgomery County's limits on sprawl will face every intensifying attack.
And ten years from now, if something is actually built, the traffic situation will be even worse than it is today. But a generation of politicians will have skated through the next couple of election cycles pointing the earthmovers along the road, and they will take credit for "doing something" -- even though what they are doing is wrong.
A second bridge across the Popomac would remove traffic from anywhere near Gaithersburg going to Dulles airport and many parts of northern Virginia. Is it possible that is never even considered as it would impact the homes of the wealthy people who live near the river north of the current bridge?
If the freeways were widened, but tolls were allowed across all the lanes on completion, like on the Intercounty Connector, there might be a chance of easing the problem, because an actual, direct, up-front coast would be exacted from people using the freeways for long-distance commutes, as well as short trips otherwise easily accomplished on surface streets. After all, buses and subways are also heavily tax-funded, but a direct cost (fare) is also imposed. Don’t see really long lines at the bus stops, although there are at Metrorail stops during rush hour.
The Potomac snobs would never approve of a second bridge.
A second bridge would probably go a lot further out than Potomac. It would probably connect with the Route 28/Dulles corridor, or go even further west, perhaps use the White’s Ferry site, and connect through Leesburg/Ashburn. The opposition is from people in Maryland who don’t want to see Montgomery and Frederick Counties be completely overrun with sprawl development. That means drawing a development boundary somewhere. A second bridge would blow up any prospect of holding the line.
I child could look at a map of Monkey County MD and see the logical extension of I-370 west would be across the Potomac. It’s just common senses. A real bad case of NIMBY and big money influence.
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