TRANSPORTATION

Public Invited to Md. Meetings, Hearings on Intercounty Connector

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By Katherine Shaver
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 18, 2009

Motorists who want to learn more about the proposed toll rates for the future Intercounty Connector can question state transportation officials at two public meetings this week.

The meetings, to be held Monday and Wednesday, will provide information about the toll plan, and staff from the Maryland Transportation Authority will be available to answer questions. Public testimony will be taken at two hearings, which are scheduled for Oct. 28 in Beltsville and Oct. 29 in Gaithersburg.

Monday's public meeting is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville. Wednesday's meeting is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at John F. Kennedy High School, 1901 Randolph Rd., Silver Spring.

The authority's board has proposed rush-hour tolls of 25 to 35 cents a mile for two-axle vehicles using the 18.8-mile highway from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Off-peak rates for two-axle vehicles would range from 20 cents to 30 cents a mile. The largest trucks would pay up to $2.63 a mile during peak hours.

The proposed rates would be among the highest tolls charged in the country. State officials say they are in line with newer toll roads.

The six-lane highway, estimated to cost $2.56 billion, is under construction between the Interstate 270 corridor in Gaithersburg and the I-95/Route 1 corridor in Laurel. The first segment, between I-370 and Georgia Avenue, is scheduled to open in fall 2010. The entire road is scheduled to be open by spring 2012.

The Oct. 28 public hearing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at High Point High School. The Oct. 29 hearing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at Shady Grove Middle School, 8100 Midcounty Hwy., Gaithersburg.

People who want to testify at the hearings can preregister by calling 1-866-847-7310. Public comment will be accepted in writing until 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and can be mailed to ICC Project Office, ATTN: ICC Tolls, 11710 Beltsville Drive, Suite 200, Beltsville, Md. 20705, or sent by e-mail to tolls@iccproject.com. More information is available at http://www.iccproject.com.


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