Maryland chooses Intercounty Connector route in suburban DC

| 7/26/2005

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.