Maryland Beltway, 270 widening plan hits a roadblock

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s goal of widening the Beltway and I-270 has stalled out again after a critical planning agency rejected its plan.

READ MORE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to widen I-270, Beltway approved

Hogan's plan would impact over 70 miles of interstate and add toll lanes through a public-private partnership. 

The governor says changes are needed to reduce what he calls the "soul crushing congestion" that's only expected to worsen in the future.

READ MORE: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to widen I-270, Beltway approved

But the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission – which serves Montgomery and Prince George’s County – says there are too many unknown factors in the state’s plan.

The commission this week voted unanimously to reject the plan.

“We’re trying to pin down the state on exactly what the environmental impact of the project will be and that’s very hard to do because they’re attempting to perform the environmental analysis before the project is even designed. They want to do the environmental impact statement, and then pick a contractor who’s going to tell them exactly how the project’s going to be built. So it’s very hard to know how much parkland will be taken, how much environmental impact that will have, and how many private properties will have to be torn down or taken in order to fit into the project that ultimately gets built,”  said Commission Chairman Casey Anderson.

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Anderson also said that the state has not addressed questions like how the project will be supported financially.

The commission posted a list of more than a dozen problems with the state’s plan on its website. Click here to read their list.

The governor’s plan has been challenged by local leaders since shortly after its inception.

According to WTOP, officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are expected to formally challenge the project this week.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties comprise Maryland’s most densely populated region in D.C.’s suburbs.