controversial Intercounty Connector in the northern Washington,
DC, area is more likely than ever to be built, as officials in the
administration of Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich have indicated they
are determined to build the highway, The Baltimore Sun reported
proposed route, twice rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency,
would carry traffic through natural land saved from development
rather than through developed areas, requiring removal of homes
and businesses, as some alternative routes would.
Line reported Nov. 22 that changes in Maryland’s government
after the last election could revive plans for the 18-mile, east-west
Intercounty Connector in Montgomery County, MD. The previous administration
in the state, led by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, had rejected the
highway, with the former governor saying he wanted to end discussion
of the connector "once and for all."
road would link Interstates 270 and 95, running from Rockville east
to Laurel, costing an estimated $1.3 billion, The Washington
Post said in a story Nov. 19. Area officials have been discussing
the highway for 40 years.
chief objections to the highway come from environmental groups and
their supporters, who claim it will cause pollution of streams and
possibly harm the local trout population.
a December letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y.
Mineta quoted by The Post, Montgomery Council member Philip
Andrews of Rockville said the road would cause too much environmental
harm for it to be the subject of an expedited study.
the same day that Andrews’ letter was sent, 13 environmental groups
also sent a letter to Mineta, saying President Bush's executive
order calling for streamlined environmental reviews was not intended
for such a controversial proposal, The Post reported.
despite those objections, the new administration in Maryland is
giving clear signals it intends to move forward. Officials under
Ehrlich say the highway would reduce congestion on the Capital Beltway,
cutting pollution from cars and other vehicles, and allow commuters
to spend more time with their families instead of spending it on
will find a way to build the ICC," Robert L. Flanagan, Gov.
Ehrlich's nominee for transportation secretary, told the Baltimore