Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityPlans to widen the Beltway and I-270 met with protest, despite gridlock | WJLA
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Plans to widen the Beltway and I-270 met with protest, despite gridlock

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In the final days of the legislative session, these politicans and activists are desperately seeking support in Annapolis for a bill they hope will slow Governor Hogan’s plans to widen I-270 and the Beltway.

"It restores practical common sense oversight to a project many of us here believe is getting out of control," said Del. Jared Solomon.

The project, dubbed by the Hogan administration as the 'Traffic Relief Plan,' seeks to have the state partner with a private company to expand capacity on I-270 and the Maryland portion of the Beltway by adding toll lanes at zero cost to the state and without claiming any private homes. It could break ground in 2020, but opponents hope to hit the brakes.

"If you want a taste of congestion in 2040, look at the effects of that tank crash on the American Legion Bridge and welcome to 2040 traffic," says Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn.

Secretary Rahn issuing the warning in response to those supporting a bill Rahn says would kill Gov. Hogan’s plan to widen I-270 and the Beltway in Maryland by partnering with a private firm to build new toll lanes as was done in Virginia.

"We have no other option in dealing with congestion. And its this or nothing," says Rahn.

Montgomery County Delegate Marc Korman among a crowd of elected officials and environmental activists in Annapolis blasting the highway expansion plans.

Supporting the bill which they say would increase legislative oversight of all public private partnerships. Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich hoping the bill puts the brakes on the Governor’s traffic relief plan.

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"It's being oversold as the panacea silver bullet for traffic, totally ignoring the other traffic impacts totally ignoring the role of transit," says Elrich.

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