The Maryland Department of Transportation on Wednesday will hold an industry forum to discuss plans for adding four new lanes to major highways in the state.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has proposed widening I-270, I-495, and I-295 (Baltimore-Washington Parkway) as part of a $9 billion plan to ease traffic congestion.
Wednesday’s industry forum is part of a effort to gain private sector support and develop public-private partnerships to carry out the project. The “Traffic Relief Plan” calls for private developers to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain new lanes on I-495 between the American Legion Bridge and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 between I-495 and I-70.
The plan also calls for the National Park Service to hand over control of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to the Maryland Transportation Authority.
The plan, announced in September, calls for two express toll lanes to be added to I-495 and I-270 as a way to ease congestion. The express lanes would be paid for using money from the related tolls, and tolls would also support the widening of the Parkway, officials said.
Maryland officials claim that the cost of congestion in the state was estimated to be $2 billion in 2015, up from $1.7 billion two years prior. About 97% of that congestion stems from the Washington/Baltimore region, officials said.
The industry forum will take place from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the BWI Airport Marriott, located at 1743 West Nursery Rd., Linthicum. Members of the public can register for free.
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