Maryland Transportation Officials said they hope to have a team of consultants in place by April as it works toward a plan to widen and add express toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and I-270.

Officials said they expect key advisors to be in place next month for the state’s Traffic Relief Plan, which calls for a public-private partnership to add new lanes to the major Maryland highways in order to reduce congestion.

Maryland officials also announced a new website for the project:

State officials are looking to build a team of financial and legal advisors, as well as a general engineering consultant. MDOT said it selected CDM Smith as its traffic and revenue consultant.

Last fall, state transportation officials held an industry forum to brief the private sector on the project. It also issued a request for information and received 27 responses from interested parties.

Under the Traffic Relief Plan, private companies would design, build, finance, and operate express toll lanes in I-270 and I-495, and collect most revenue. The model is similar to that involving Transurban and the I-495 and I-95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.

At the industry forum, several companies said they were interested in the project, but wanted to wait until MDOT’s advisors were in place before investing too much time or money.

Once a team of consultants is in place, MDOT is expected to issue formal requests for qualifications and then eventually select a team.

Separately, the state has held preliminary talks with the National Park Service about acquiring the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, with the intention of widening it.

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