Annapolis, Md. — Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced advancement of the state’s $100 million I-270 Innovative Congestion Management Project, which will save drivers up to 30 minutes on their morning commute southbound from Frederick to I-495. The winning design-build team, comprised of 16 firms, was selected following a competitive bidding process to deliver a modern adaptable highway by creating an automated smart traffic system that will move the most vehicles fastest and farthest on I-270 between I-70 and I-495. The governor was joined by Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, State Highway Administrator Gregory Slater, and representatives from the winning firms for the announcement.
“We are committed to finding the best ideas that offer real solutions, and I am excited to see innovation in action when it comes to solving the problems of congestion here on I-270,” said Governor Hogan. “Moving forward on critical priority infrastructure is important to Montgomery County, to all of our local jurisdictions, and to economic development statewide, and we are very pleased to be able to announce that all of these important projects are being started.”
The project breaks 14 bottlenecks and adds 23 new lane miles, more than 25 real-time traffic communication signs, and more than 30 intelligent signals that work together to deliver 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.
“I-270 is the ‘spine’ of Montgomery County. It serves the region’s major tech and life sciences corridors,” said Leggett. “In sum: it is the economic engine of the County and State. I am grateful for the governor’s attention and commitment to this challenge.”
In 2016, Governor Hogan provided $100 million in new funding for the I-270 Innovative Congestion Management Project to improve travel times throughout the 34.4-mile I-270 corridor. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration used an innovative procurement method never used before by a state transportation department.
The procurement used a fixed price of $100 million and performance criteria of moving the most vehicles farthest and fastest. This open and innovative approach allowed the private sector to use its talents and creativity to develop out-of-the-box solutions. The automated smart traffic system uses infrastructure, technology and information to deliver the time savings.
“We’re trailblazing a new way of doing business that will be a model for projects across Maryland and for transportation projects all across the nation,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
“We are proud to offer this advanced solution that will provide substantial time savings to all who drive the I-270 corridor,” said MDOT SHA Slater. “The design-build team, comprised of many Maryland firms, proposed a set of solutions that moves the most vehicles, the fastest and the farthest.”
During the 2016 legislative session, the General Assembly passed the “Road Kill Bill,” which threatened 66 of the top 73 priority transportation projects in the state. Governor Hogan immediately opposed this legislation, and called for its full and immediate repeal. On April 11, Governor Hogan signed the repeal legislation, ensuring that all 73 projects can move forward.
In Montgomery County, key projects are back on track and moving forward, including: $130 million to build the new I-270/Watkins Mill Road interchange; $6 million to identify capacity improvements for I-495 from the I-270 spur to the Virginia Line; $12.8 million to construct new intersection improvements at MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) at Jones Bridge Road; $7 million to identify safety and operations improvements for the MD 28/MD 198 corridor; and $10.7 million for right-of-way acquisition and engineering to move forward the capacity and safety improvement project along MD 124 in partnership with Montgomery County.
The winning team includes the following 16 firms:
- Concrete General (Prime Contractor), Gaithersburg, MD
- Rummel, Klepper, & Kahl (RK&K) (Lead Design Firm), Baltimore, MD
- Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co., Abingdon, MD
- CH2M Hill, Inc., Baltimore, MD
- Stokes Creative Group, Inc., Baltimore, MD
- T3 Design Corporation, Fairfax, VA
- Floura Teeter Landscape Architects, Inc., Baltimore, MD
- Axis Geospatial LLC, Easton, MD
- Precision Measurements, Inc., Woodstock, MD
- Edwards Utility Mapping Corporation, Fredericksburg, VA
- E2CR, Inc., Baltimore, MD
- Airport Design Consultants, Inc., Ellicott City, MD
- ECO Integration, Inc., Columbia, MD
- Athavale, Lystad & Associates, Inc., Bethesda, MD
- iDesign Engineering, Inc., Silver Spring, MD
- R. George Associates, Inc., Lanham, MD
Final design is underway this spring with construction to begin this fall. The entire project will be completed in 2019.