Monday, February 21, 2011

Hooray: 1st Section of Intercounty Connector Finished

The first segment of the Intercounty Connector (ICC), connecting Montgomery and Prince George's counties, opens this week.  The ICC is a 7.2 miles, six-lane, $2.56-billion toll road that will provide a speedier link between Interstate 270 and Interstate 95, with its access to Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The Center was the only environmental group to support the project. We believe it will relieve congestion, reduce air pollution and get families reunited sooner for evening quality time.  We also believe that an outer beltway is needed around Washington, DC because the current beltway is quickly becoming a parking lot.

The first stretch will carry traffic between I-270 in Gaithersburg and Norbeck Road, just east of Georgia Avenue in northern Silver Spring. It is expected to attract residents from Olney, Howard County and eastern Montgomery who commute to the job-rich I-270 corridor.

Tolls start on March 7 after a two-week free trial period, will be 60 cents to $1.45 for passenger vehicles, depending on the time of day. Those prices will increase to up to $6.15 to travel the entire 18.8-mile highway after it opens to Interstate 95 in Prince George's by spring 2012.

The ICC, which also will be known as Route 200, is Maryland's first all-electronic toll road. With no tollbooths, payment will be collected at highway speeds via vehicles' EZ-Pass transponders. Those without a transponder will be mailed a "notice of toll due" and charged a $3 service fee. That fee will be waived until April 6. (Wash Post, 2/21/2011)

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