Federal authorities approve efforts to widen I-270, American Legion Bridge in Maryland

The green light has been given by the federal government for efforts to widen I-270 and the American Legion Bridge after years of delay.

Federal authorities have issued their final environmental approval for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's effort to expand the roads with new express tolls. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told FOX 5 earlier this month that he was in conversation with Gov. Hogan about I-270. Approval is now the next big step in a project that's estimated to cost about $5 billion.

The plan is to add two Express Toll lanes from the Inner County Connector in Gaithersburg. Maryland is now free to sign a contract to build and manage the toll lanes on clogged roads.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich tells FOX 5 he's concerned about the price tag. However, supporters like Republican Delegate and Congressional Candidate Neal Parrot says expanding I-270 and the American Legion Bridge will help ease congestion and improve air quality.

Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement in response to Elrich's ongoing price complaints saying, "Political stall tactics by Montgomery County politicians ignoring the will of their constituents have significantly increased the costs and hurdles for the project."