Maryland to expand I-95 express toll lane project to $1.1B
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced June 15 that the state was investing an extra $890 million in the construction of two, 10-mile express toll lanes northbound on Interstate 95 from Baltimore County to Harford County, according to a news release from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA). This takes the project value from the original amount of $210 million to $1.1 billion. The original plan was to build a single, 7.75-mile lane.
- The project, which is part of the Baltimore-area traffic relief plan Hogan announced back in December 2017, will include the reconstruction of two interchanges — one with park-and-ride facilities and the other with a two–lane flyover ramp — and the reconstruction or widening of several overpass bridges and the construction of five new noise walls.
- The authority is scheduled to begin construction in 2019. Kevin C. Reigrut, executive director of the MDTA, said the new lanes should decrease the number of crashes, reduce congestion, make the interstate safer for commuters and allow for easier operations and maintenance.
This is just one of Hogan's plans to reduce congestion within the state and the Washington, D.C., metro area.
In September, Hogan proposed a $9 billion expansion of three major area highways, an initiative he called transformative. The state would add four lanes to Interstates 270 and 495 — commonly known as the Capital Beltway — in addition to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Hogan announced that the entire project would be delivered as a public-private partnership, which would design, finance, build, operate and maintain the interstate portion of the project.
Earlier, in August 2017, Hogan proposed a much smaller, $230 million program to reduce congestion on Interstate 270, which connects to the Capital Beltway, handles 250,000 vehicles a day and suffers from regular traffic jams. This initiative, however, could very well end up being part of the larger $9 billion expansion.
According to the state's Open Transportation Investment Decision Act of 2016, Hogan's office must publicly score and rank transportation projects that receive state funding based on nine factors, including environmental impact. Hogan came out against the measure and vetoed it, only to have the Maryland Senate override it. The law does not take away decision-making authority from the administration, but, according to those in favor of the measure, provides more transparency to taxpayers about the process the state uses in picking which transportation projects to pursue.
- Maryland Transportation Authority HOGAN ADMINISTRATION ADDS $890 MILLION
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