WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) — Relief is on the way for drivers who hit rush hour traffic every day on I-95 Northbound. Construction is nearly complete on express lanes near White Marsh.
Gigi Barnett has the details.
Express lanes right down the middle of I-95 Northbound near White Marsh. For a fee, drivers can whiz by rush hour traffic jams and tie-ups. This week, the Maryland Transportation Authority has set the rate to travel the fast lanes: about $3.50 roundtrip.
“I would pay ’cause I would rather pay for the convenience,” said Lisa Moore.
“I hate sitting in traffic. That’s why we left northern Virginia to escape the 95,” said Erin Luce.
But some drivers won’t shell it out.
“I’m tired of paying. They went up on the toll fees for the underground. That’s four dollars now and we have more fees now. We’ve got the red light fees. I’m tired of paying,” said Bobby Moore.
The seven-mile express lanes are set to open on I-95 just north of the Beltway late next year. Rates will be calculated based on the time of day, similar to the state’s newest toll highway, the Intercounty Connector.
“The toll rate will be 25 cents per mile during peak periods, 20 cents per mile during off-peak periods and 10 cents per mile during the overnight periods,” said MdTA Spokesman John Sales.
An E-ZPass is required to use the express lanes. MdTA says the faster lanes are designed to make traffic much more predictable for drivers.
“They’ll have a choice for reliable travel times, especially if they’re trying to get to a doctor’s appointment or trying to get their children to daycare,” Sales said.
Once the express lanes open, the state plans to monitor traffic patterns. If they increase, then the rates could too.
The lanes were built based on traffic expectations 20 years from now. The state says it doesn’t expect that part of I-95 to get heavy use for several more years.
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