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Options to “Improve” I495 Beltway Will be Ready Soon

At last night’s meeting, the City Council got an update about the proposed Beltway improvment update. This is part of the CTP (Consolidate Transportation Plan (CTP) that MDOT has released its six-year draft for review and comment. The CTP includes detailed information on minor and major capital projects across all agencies. The full CTP document can be reviewed at http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP/Index.html.

The CTP features a new project, “I-270, Eisenhower Memorial Highway, and I-495, Capital Beltway”. that appears to be funding for the I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study and has taken the place of last year’s study to widen I-495 and the study to implement high occupancy traffic (HOT) lanes. SHA is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and is soliciting proposals for a public-private partnership which will be charged with designing and constructing express toll lanes (ETLs) along I-270 and I-495.

The project is funded for planning only and the budget has been increased by $68.3 million. At present, the project does not specifically mention widening the highways, nor are there any other studies or projects in the CTP geared specifically towards widening I-495. However, the Managed Lanes Study’s Preliminary Range of Alternatives report (https://495-270-p3.com/online_public_workshop/)

MDOT isconsidering 15alternativeoptions.Ashortlist ofoptions can be found in 2-3month.

The other highlights of the CTP include bike and pedestrian improvements along US1 from College Park to MD193 (Segment 1) contract could be awarded by February 11th, 2019. The project is not expected to be completed in its entirety until April 2024. Reconstruction of US 1 in north College Park from MD193 to the Capital Beltway (Segments 2 & 3) remains unfunded beyond the completed planning phase and there is no timeline associated with funding or construction. It is, however, listed as a project to be completed over the next 20 years.

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