NORTH CHEVY CHASE, Md. - The Interstate-270 toll lane project in Maryland has suffered a major setback.
FOX 5's Bob Barnard says that Maryland's Republican Governor Larry Hogan wants a public-private partnership to build toll lanes on I-270 and the Beltway in Montgomery County and to build a new American Legion Bridge.
Barnard reports that Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, a Democrat, prefers reversible express lanes on I-270.
Barnard says the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and its transportation planning board have removed Hogan's P3 Toll Lanes Project from a list of future environmental impact studies which could threaten federal funding for the project.
As a result, Hogan will use state funding intended for other transit and roadway projects in Montgomery County to maintain the Interstates and American Legion Bridge, Barnard reports.
"Well, I'm very concerned. If it's not reversed the bridge is dead. It's the most important project -- the Washington Post says it's the most important project to happen to the region since the 70s. It's something that more than 70 percent of the people in Montgomery County and across the state support," Hogan said.
"Their just stubborn insistence on building the most expensive project they can possibly build puzzles me. Because if I could get traffic relief, if I could get people traveling from Frederick the two lanes they need in the morning and hand them the two lanes they need in the evening, you would think we'd all be happy," Elrich said.
In the meantime, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration turned on the new ramp meter system for testing on the ramp from northbound MD 118 to southbound I-270 in the Germantown area of Montgomery County.
The ramp metering is a part of the I-270 Innovative Congestion Management project that is aimed at helping reduce congestion on the busy interstate.
During the week-long testing period, the traffic signal at the end of the ramp, which has been flashing yellow since June 16, will display red, green or flash yellow, depending on traffic conditions.