Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. has announced the state has
picked a route to build an east-west highway across the Washington, DC, suburbs
along a southern route.
The 18-mile, $2.4 billion road, known as the Intercounty Connector,
is intended to link booming business that runs along Interstate 270 with
Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the Port of Baltimore, both
accessible by I-95.
The six-lane highway has been on planning maps for decades
as an alternative to the congested Capital Beltway. The highway has yet to be
built, in part because of environmental challenges.
“We will begin construction next year,” Transportation
Secretary Robert L. Flanagan told local media gathered near the proposed route.
Ehrlich told The Washington Post the state would
address environmental concerns by building bridges over sensitive areas and
narrowing the road in some sections.
The governor said, “We’re confident this decision will be
upheld by the federal government,” which still must approve the project.
If all goes well, in 2010, according to projections, the
connector would carry about 80,000 vehicles a day.