The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) today announced the selection of Accelerate Maryland Partners, LLC, to become the developer responsible for overseeing predevelopment work on the American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Relief Plan. The selection, which is subject to approval by the MDTA Board and the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW), is the culmination of a year-long competitive process of extensive collaborative dialogue with the proposers designed to ensure a true partnership, harness the innovation of the private sector and meet the goals of the program to provide congestion relief and an innovative approach to minimize impacts. A comprehensive evaluation process, including MDOT, MDOT SHA, MDTA, industry experts, advisors from Montgomery and Frederick counties and an observer from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), was conducted to select a partner committed to collaborating with community stakeholders and other partners in advancing the American Legion Bridge and I-270 improvements.
MDOT’s recommended preferred alternative for the American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Relief Plan includes two high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes across the American Legion Bridge to I-270, and north on I-270 to I-370. MDOT and MDOT SHA are continuing to collaborate with federal, state and county partner agencies on reaching concurrence on a recommended preferred alternative. This alternative would deliver a new American Legion Bridge as the primary link between key economic centers in Maryland and Virginia, and would add a bicycle and pedestrian connection across the bridge, connecting to the C&O Canal. Buses and vehicles with three or more people would be able to use the new HOT lanes free of charge, providing opportunities for faster, more-reliable bus transit service, carpooling and vanpooling. Existing travel lanes throughout the corridor will be retained and will remain free for use by all motorists.
“This is another step forward in addressing one of the most significant traffic bottlenecks in the nation. I want to thank all of the teams that pursued this Phase 1 partnership with Maryland and the teams of experts that spent almost 200 total hours reviewing and deliberating over the amazing proposals,” said Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. “Though there is much more work to do with the local leaders, the community and stakeholders, the selected proposal delivers congestion relief at the American Legion Bridge, strong innovative approaches for minimizing impacts and a real multimodal approach. I am very much looking forward to this partnership and its benefit to Maryland travelers.”
Accelerate Maryland Partners LLC includes: Transurban (USA) Operations Inc. and Macquarie Infrastructure Developments LLC as lead project developer/equity; Transurban and Macquarie as lead contractor; and Dewberry Engineers Inc. and Stantec Consulting Services Inc. as designers. Selecting Accelerate Maryland Partners provides Maryland: a partner with strong regional connections and a track record of success delivering managed lane Public-Private Partnership (P3) projects; a new American Legion Bridge and I-270 improvements to I-370; and a $145 million Development Rights Payment.
The proposal also includes commitments for transit improvements in Montgomery County, a community grant program, Vision Zero investments, a no interest loan program for local fleet conversions and water quality enhancements. The Accelerate Maryland Partners proposal also includes a comprehensive approach to local workforce development including: partnerships with small, disadvantaged, women and veteran-owned businesses; union and local contractor involvement, including a planned Project Labor Agreement; and engagement with local community organizations and educational institutions.