Maryland will need to cut five road and transit projects worth a total of $1.23 billion unless regional officials approve the state’s plan to widen the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 with toll lanes, state officials said this week.
The region’s Transportation Planning Board is scheduled to vote Wednesday, at Maryland officials’ request, on whether to restore the toll lanes proposal to the region’s long-term transportation plan — a move required for the project’s federal environmental approval.
The regional board nixed the toll lanes June 16 at the urging of some Montgomery County leaders who say they would harm the environment and adjacent communities while giving short shrift to mass transit. However, some D.C.-area officials on the board have since said they hadn’t been aware that the vote would result in the Maryland Department of Transportation cutting other projects, planning board staff said.
In a Tuesday letter to the board, MDOT revealed the five projects it would cut if the toll lanes proposal is rejected again.