$9B dollar project to widen I-270 and 495 has residents concerned

A $9 billion dollar plan is supposed to reduce traffic congestion for millions of drivers by adding four new lanes to I-270, 495 and the BW Parkway.

While the project is geared to help drivers with their commute, recent comments by Governor Larry Hogan have residents in the area are concerned.

"Governor? Lots of people are concerned their houses are going to be taken. Yeah, that's not going to happen. Not a single house is going to be taken down. That's just a lie being spread."

Pete Altman recorded a video with his cell phone at a Labor Day parade in Montgomery County. He's one of many who live along 270 or the Beltway in Maryland, and he's very worried this widening project announced last September will result in the tearing down of homes in his Rockville neighborhood.

Transit advocates say anything that sits within 300 feet of the middle of any those highways could be at risk for getting paved over to widen the road.

Private developers will build, design, finance and operate the lanes that will require tolls.

Governor Hogan says not a single home will be taken down but it's these later comments that have some homeowners unable to trust his word.

"Yesterday we were at the parade. This is the very beginning of the process. We are holding public hearings to get input. No decisions have been made, no routes have been proposed and nobody's houses are being taken."

"How can he tell us no homes will be torn down when he's also saying there's no plan and no decisions have been made yet," says Altman.

"If the governor is going to stand by his promise that no homes will be taken, then he needs to direct the Department of Transportation and Highway Administration to proceed with this project according to those guidelines. And that needs to be a formal directive of some kind," he said.

"What they told us at the last set of public meetings where they showed drawings that had no numbers on them is we will have that information during the winter. Which is conveniently after the election," said Ben Ross with the Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition.

FOX5 reached out to the Governor's office, and they released a statement which says in part:

"We are required to look at all potential options and integrate public comment - that is where we are currently in the process.
However, our approach is to ultimately develop and select an option within the existing right of way.

Construction is planned to start in 2020.