Reporting Mike Schuh
WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) — The state had hoped by now to have special express lanes open on I-95 from the city to past White Marsh.
Now, as Mike Schuh reports, the final project allowing these new toll lanes to open has begun.
The scream of I-95 drowns out what the state wants to crow about: construction here and on the other side and all around White Marsh Boulevard. The state is beginning a project that should have been done by now, but a few years ago, work slowed to a trickle. The recent weak economy means the toll authority hasn’t been collecting as many tolls, meaning they didn’t have as much revenue. But with fewer road projects nationwide, contractors began offering better deals on all state roadwork.
“A lot of the bids are coming in lower than anticipated due to the economic climate, which has freed up a portion of money,” said MdTA Chief Engineer Doug Hutcheson.
Enough money so in two years, the first eight miles of express lanes will open. Soon, the White Marsh Boulevard bridge will have ramps that connect it down to the new toll lanes being built where the median used to be. Yes, toll lanes. You will pay a toll for the privilege to drive past the most congested part of 95 from the city line out past White Marsh.
“Some people, they want to go, go, go but others are mindful of what they got in their pockets and they can’t put it out,” said commuter Chuck Rhine.
“But if you’re running late or you gotta go, it’s your penalty for running late,” said commuter Lisa Foust.
The idea of the express lanes is to have them stretch to the Delaware line. As of yet, no money has been located to design or build those sections.