BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Many have sat on I-270 for hours on their commute home, but new “smart” highway innovations could change all that.
It’s a green light for major changes to Maryland’s most congested highway. Devin Bartolotta has more on what this will mean for drivers.
At rush hour every day, I-270 becomes a parking lot, and drivers are welcoming any improvements. Highway holdups are soon taking the exit ramp.
Governor Larry Hogan announcing a 100-million-dollar revamp of Interstate 270 that will use an innovative “smart” system to keep traffic flowing.
“We’re moving forward on a number of projects here in Montgomery County and all across the state,” says Governor Hogan.
The 270 overhaul is long overdue, as it currently serves up to 261,000 vehicles every day and getting busier every year.
The corridor connects Frederick with Bethesda – but the bumper to bumper traffic at rush hour is worse than any other road in the state.
“It takes me about an hour, hour and a half to go 40 miles,” says driver Dan Bradshaw.
“I have to time my work to the traffic on 270,” says driver Donna Evans
“The wait could be anywhere from a half an hour to about 45 minutes,” says driver Sunny Singh.
The upgrades will include: 14 bottleneck fixes, 23 miles of new lanes, communication signs and smart signals. Any improvement is welcome news to commuters like Dan Bradshaw.
“The area is growing dramatically, but the highway hasn’t changed in years,” he says.
State officials want to make sure Maryland’s growth doesn’t mean more gridlock.
“The I-270 corridor is the economic engine of the county and the state of Maryland,” says Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.
Construction is set to begin this fall and could last until 2019. Right now, there’s no word yet on how the changes will be phased in or what impact the construction might have on traffic.
This project is part of about $450 million in roadway projects in Montgomery County — the most in the state of Maryland.