The Hogan Administration announced last night that the Maryland Department of Transportation Traffic Relief Plan is receiving significant interest from the public-private partnership (P3) industry to add new lanes on I-495 and I-270. This interest follows the administration’s recently announced plans to add four new lanes to I-270, the Capital Beltway (I-495), and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295).
The $9 billion Traffic Relief Plan for these three major state highways will reduce congestion for millions of drivers and mark the beginning of a historic and transformative effort to significantly improve the traffic conditions on some of Maryland’s most traveled roads and highways for years to come.
"Our administration is committed to helping Maryland citizens go about their daily lives in a more efficient and safer manner,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The significant interest from the P3 industry is yet another step in this transformative process to turn innovation into action. Once complete, these projects will dramatically improve our highway system and traffic in the region for years to come.”
MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) received 27 responses to the initial Request for Information (RFI), which was released in September when Governor Hogan joined State transportation leadership to announce the project.
Standing on a hill overlooking I-270 in Gaithersburg near the Park & Ride lot off Quince Orchard Road, Hogan unveiled plans to widen the entire length of I-270, all of the Maryland portion of the I-495 from bridge-to-bridge, and have the State of Maryland take control of and widen the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from Baltimore to DC.
“These three massive, unprecedented projects to widen 495, 270 and 295 will be absolutely transformative and will help Maryland’s citizens go about their daily lives in more efficient and safer manner,” said Hogan on September 17.
The RFI solicited the Public-Private Partnership industry for input and solutions to provide major congestion relief improvements to these key transportation arteries for the state. Valued at $7.6 billion, the P3 project to add new lanes on I-495 and I-270 is the largest P3 highway project in North America. The P3 seeks private developers to design, build, finance, operate and/or maintain new express toll lanes on: I-495 (Capital Beltway) between American Legion Bridge and Woodrow Wilson Bridge and on I-270 between I-495 and I-70.
Formal industry responses to the Request for Information were due December 20. Responses were received from regional, national and international firms, which represented seven different countries. The responses were received from concessionaires, investors, contractors, engineers and various other types of firms. Responding to the RFI was not a requirement. Industry can submit response proposals in the later stages of the process.
“This is a significant and very positive step in the process,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater. “This level of interest indicates that industry is meeting our demand signal for transformative and innovative ideas to address the congestion issue in Maryland with a solution that works for the customers we serve every day and the communities the new solutions will serve.”
The Traffic Relief Plan will reduce congestion for millions of motorists and mark the beginning of a transformative effort to change the landscape of Maryland’s roads and highways for years to come.
An international industry forum was hosted at the BWI Marriott in December to inform industry professionals about the Traffic Relief Plan and establish expectations and dialogue. More than 350 transportation professionals from around the world attended.
The forum presentations included an overview of the public-private partnership plan to add four express lanes (two in each direction) to I-495 and I-270.
MDOT SHA is in the process of reviewing the RFI responses.
Top: The Hogan Administration’s Traffic Relief Plan.
Next: Governor Larry Hogan, flanked by Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Director Kevin Reigrut and Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn, announces plans to widen I-270, I-495, and MD-295 in Gaithersburg in September 2017.
Next: The plan would widen the entire lengths of I-270, I-495, and MD-295.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.