Governor Larry Hogan has announced new initiatives that are designed to provide much-needed traffic relief to the Baltimore region.
Governor Larry Hogan has just announced that that the state’s Transportation Authority and Department of Transportation are in pursuit of three individual construction projects the goal of which is to provide traffic relief on the busiest highways in the greater Baltimore area. The Governor’s proposal would invest $461 million on 27 miles of I-95 and the Baltimore Beltway (I-695), which will add new lanes.
The three projects include an investment of $151 million that will fund construction along I-695, between the Maryland route 43 and I-70 exits on both the inner and outer loops of the Baltimore beltway. The inside shoulder is going to be converted into an extra lane along the 19-mile stretch.
The second proposed highway project would reconfigure the I-70 and I-695 interchange. Ultimately, this would impact six of the 15 most congested road portions in the state — $100 million of the $461 million budgeted will be used.
The remainder of the $461 million investment will extend the Express Toll Lanes on the northbound side of I-95, along a-7.75 mile stretch between the Maryland Route 43 and Maryland Route 24 exits.
Maryland currently has the second-longest commute times in the nation; D.C. Metro area is the most congested region in the country. The Governor’s office reported that heavy traffic on a daily basis has caused wasted fuel and emissions that has then resulted in a rising statewide cost, which totaled $2 billion (in 2015) — 22 percent more than in 2013.
In addition to reducing emissions and the impact on the environment, providing traffic relief will help in conserving resources and keeping local fuel prices low.
What are your thoughts on the three new plans? Do you think they will help to mitigate the congestion? Let us know in the comments below.