On June 2, 2021, NPCA held a virtual meeting with Maryland DOT State Highway Association P3 Program Office
Speakers: Jeff Folden, Deputy Director
Caryn Brookman, Environmental Lead
Catherine Smith, Community Liaison
Summary (see slides at: N Potomac Citizens Association Meeting Presentation – 2021-06-02 Final )
The speakers presented an overview of the plans for a public-private partnership (P3) to widen I-270 and I-495 from Frederick to the American Legion Bridge. The work will also include completely replacing the American Legion Bridge.
Phase 1: 495/270 from GW Parkway to I-370
Phase 2: 270 from I-370 to Frederick (pre-NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act)
The current approach is “Alternative 9” and was announced in January as the recommended approach. There will be no action on I-495 east of the I-270 Spur.
- There will be 2 High Occupancy Toll (HOT) in each direction along these sections (Phase 1 and Phase 2)
- I-270 (from I-370 and south) will go from 6 lanes (1 HOV lane, 3 general lanes, 2 local lanes) to 7 lanes (2 HOT lanes, 5 general lanes). See screen shot above. They will be adding 1 toll lane in each direction, taking away the non-toll HOV lane and converting it to a toll lane.
- They will add a bike path across the American Legion Bridge and replace the Bethesda Trolley trail Bridge
- Phase 1 has already selected the developer – “Accelerate Maryland Partners” https://www.acceleratemarylandpartners.com/
o Maryland will provide no funding for Phase 1, they will pay for it all.
o Tolls would have dynamic pricing – more during peak hours and less during non-peak hours. There would not be a time when there would be no toll collected (like the current HOV lanes). A toll will always be in place. The tolls will adjust as frequently as every 5 minutes as needed. More on dynamic pricing can be found at https://mdta.maryland.gov/alb270tollsetting
- Per the website above: TOLL RATE RANGE SETTING PUBLIC HEARINGS SCHEDULED FOR JULY 12 AND JULY 14
- Busses, motorcycles and cars with 3+ people will ride free. The developer will determine how to make it so cars with 3+ people ride free (e.g., separate transponder). Electric vehicles are not proposed to ride free.
o Access points to the HOT lanes will be limited. Current proposal is for I-370, Gude Drive (new access), Wootton Parkway (new access) and at the spur. You will NOT have access to the toll lanes south of I-370 unless you get off I-270 first and then go to an access point.
o Phase 1 timeline – will enter pre-development work this fall and in Fall 2022, the plans will be delivered to start construction. Construction is expected to last 5 years for Phase 1.
- Phase 2 is in planning activity mode.
- General Email: 495-270-P3@mdot.maryland.gov
- Website: 495-270-P3.com