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Hearings next week on ICC tolls

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By Katherine Shaver
Friday, October 23, 2009; 5:32 PM

Have an opinion about how much motorists should pay to drive on the Intercounty Connector? Here's your chance to speak up.

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The Maryland Transportation Authority's board will hold public hearings Wednesday and Thursday on its proposed tolling plan for the 18.8-mile highway under construction between Gaithersburg and Laurel.

The board has proposed rush-hour tolls of 25 to 35 cents a mile for two-axle vehicles from 6 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays. Off-peak rates for two-axle vehicles would range from 20 to 30 cents a mile. The largest trucks would pay as much as $2.63 a mile during peak hours, according to the proposal.

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 scheduled to open in stages. The first segment, between Interstate 370 and Georgia Avenue in Montgomery County, is scheduled to open in fall 2010. The entire road, extending east to U.S. 1 in Prince George's County, is scheduled to be open by spring 2012.

Wednesday's hearing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. at High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Rd., in Beltsville. Thursday's hearing is set for 6 to 9 p.m. at Shady Grove Middle School, 8100 Midcounty Hwy., in Gaithersburg.

People who want to testify at the hearings can preregister by calling 1-866-847-7310. Public comments will be accepted in writing until 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and can also be mailed to ICC Project Management 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.

The authority board is scheduled to vote on the proposed tolling plan Dec. 17.


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