Hogan's Commonsense Improvements to I-270 Will Help Some, But More Work Is Needed

Peter Samuel May 22, 2017

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's  $100-Million plan for “innovative congestion management” improvements to I-270 is a welcome first step in upgrading the performance of one of Maryland’s most important highways. An open request for proposals last June has produced a set of measures that more successfully adapt the existing roadway to current traffic patterns. They should alleviate a noticeable proportion of congestion, helping people to get to work, school, shopping, or social events more reliably and with less hassle, and ensuring that deliveries to stores, worksites, and homes move more efficiently.

The chosen contractor team—led by engineers RK&K and CH2M Hill of Baltimore—focused on the worst of the mini-bottlenecks on I-270 between the I-495 Beltway in Bethesda and I-70 in Frederick. Their proposal, accepted by the Hogan administration, focuses on 14 bottleneck points and adds capacity at each. Most of these are either simple interchange modernizations or lane additions. Interchange entries and exits will get extended acceleration and deceleration lanes alongside existing travel lanes.