The Hogan administration is taking the next step of the $100 million I-270 Innovative Congestion Management (ICM) Project in Montgomery and Frederick counties, which will save drivers up to 30 minutes on their morning commute from Frederick to I-495 when the project is complete.
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will remove the top layer of asphalt, pave and restripe a nearly eighth of a mile section of southbound I-270 approaching the dual exit lanes to I-370 to improve access to the exit lanes.
Additionally, MDOT SHA will mill, pave and restripe to extend the outside southbound I-270 deceleration lane to MD-80/Fingerboard Road, the MD-80 acceleration lane to southbound I-270 in Frederick County and the acceleration lane from MD-109/Old Hundred Road in Clarksburg to southbound I-270.
All of the work is anticipated to be complete by the beginning of 2019.
“We are moving forward on these transformative projects to relieve the congestion problems on I-270,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Getting these critical infrastructure improvements done is important to Montgomery County and Frederick County, along with all of our local jurisdictions and economic development statewide.”
The current lane configuration of I-270 at I-370 includes four through lanes and two dedicated right exit lanes to I-370. Upon completion of this part of the I-270 ICM project, four through lanes on southbound I-270 will be preserved, but the innermost dedicated turn lane to I-370 will be converted to a ramp lane/through lane option, providing drivers with improved access to the exit to I-370.
“Innovation is key to providing real benefits to Maryland motorists, as this project demonstrates,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
Most of the work will take place at night with single lane closures on southbound I-270 at MD-80 in Frederick County between 8:00 pm and 4:00 am, Monday through Thursday. Single lane closures on southbound I-270 at MD-109 in Montgomery County will take place between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am, Mondays through Sundays.
Double and triple lane closures will take place on southbound I-270 at I-370 in Montgomery County between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am, and occasional single lanes closures will be necessary Mondays through Sundays between 10:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
Approximately 225,000 vehicles use this section of I-270 each day, so motorists should provide extra travel time during active construction.
“These projects are part of the overall I-270 ICM project that will deliver significant travel time savings for thousands of I-270 commuters,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Greg Slater. “I am happy we can break the bottleneck and offer this advanced solution that, when complete, will improve the morning commute from Frederick to I-495.”
Last fall, MDOT SHA started the I-270 ICM project by resurfacing and restriping the southbound I-270 west spur which connects the main line of I-270 with the outer loop of I-495 (Capital Beltway).
The overall project, which includes roadway improvements and the operational approaches of adaptive ramp metering and active traffic management, will combine to deliver traffic benefits and dynamic traffic management along the entire I-270 corridor.
Currently, the I-270 corridor carries a range of 79,400 - 261,200 vehicles each day. By 2030, daily volumes will increase to 107,000 - 290,000 vehicles. Reducing congestion is key to making travel reliable, improving quality of life and spurring economic development in Frederick County, Montgomery County, and the entire Washington region.
The I-270 ICM project is one of the many efforts by the Hogan administration to bring common sense transportation solutions to Maryland, and complements the administration’s plan to deliver congestion relief to I-270 and I-495 via a $7.6 billion Public Private Partnership, the largest highway P3 in North America.
The Hogan administration’s statewide Traffic Relief Plan is critical to spurring increased economic development and restoring quality of life for countless Marylanders who have been negatively affected by years of traffic congestion, both in the Baltimore City and Washington, D.C. metro areas. Maryland has the second-longest commuting times in the country, and the National Capital Region is the most congested region in the nation based on annual delay and congestion cost per auto-commuter.
The statewide cost of congestion based on auto delay, truck delay, and wasted fuel and emissions was estimated at $2 billion in 2015, an increase of 22 percent from 2013. More than 98 percent of the weekday congestion cost was incurred in the Baltimore/Washington region.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.