Traffic on the four-year-old Intercounty Connector toll road in the Maryland suburbs jumped by 18 percent in the last fiscal year, putting its growth rate at more than double that of the state’s other tollways, according to a financial report released Wednesday.
Motorists took 24.1 million trips on the ICC in the fiscal year that ended June 30, up 3.6 million trips from the previous fiscal year, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority’s year-end financial statement. The six-lane highway connects the Interstate 270 corridor in Montgomery County with the Interstate 95 corridor in Prince George’s County, outside the Capital Beltway.
The 18 percent growth in fiscal 2015 compares with 19 percent growth in the previous fiscal year. Traffic on all Maryland toll bridges, tunnels and roads grew by 8 percent in fiscal 2015. The ICC brought in $56 million in toll revenue, up nearly $8 million from the previous fiscal year.
Motorists still remark on the relatively open feel of the ICC, which was hotly debated for decades because of its $2.5 billion construction cost and its environmental and community effects as it sliced through woods and neighborhoods.
The project also hit a milestone in fiscal 2015: For the first time, its toll collections met — and actually exceeded — the amount initially forecast for the road in 2004, just before state lawmakers agreed to borrow heavily to pay for its construction. That 2004 forecast predicted that the road would collect $49.7 million in tolls in its first full fiscal year. The latest fiscal year’s tolls collections topped that at $56 million — but in the road’s third full fiscal year of being fully open.