The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have published the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and Final Section 4(f) Evaluation for the I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study (MLS). The FEIS provides responses to comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS), as well as final analysis related to the MLS Preferred Alternative – Alternative 9 – Phase 1 South.
FEIS Analysis Results
With regard to traffic analysis, Phase 1 South would improve operations and reduce congestion delays on most sections where improvements are proposed, and on the larger roadway system by:
- reducing system-wide delay for the entire study area by 13% during the AM peak period and by 38% during the PM peak period;
- improving travel speeds in existing general purpose lanes and in managed lanes;
- creating new opportunities for regional transit bus service;
- providing new/upgraded pedestrian and bicycle improvements, including a direct connection to the shared-use path from the bridge to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath.
On I-495, the Preferred Alternative would include two new High Occupancy Toll (HOT) managed lanes in each direction from south of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Fairfax County, VA, to west of MD 187, (Old Georgetown Road) in Montgomery County, MD.
On I-270, the alternative would convert the existing high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction to a HOT managed lane and add one new HOT managed lane in each direction on I-270 from I-495 to north of I-370, and on the I-270 east and west spurs. No action or no improvements would be included at this time on I-495 east of the I-270 east spur to MD 5.
The FEIS reflects changes to the Preferred Alternative using input from more than 5,000 public comments on the DEIS and SDEIS. More than 200 meetings were held to gather input in addition to 16 public workshops and seven public hearings with established public comment periods.
For a detailed review of the Phase 1 South analysis and benefits, please see
our press release.
FEIS Document Availability
The FEIS and Section 4(f) documents are available at OpLanesMD.com/FEIS. Hard copies of the FEIS and Section 4(f), as well as electronic copies of FEIS technical reports, will be available at multiple library locations in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, as well as one in Fairfax County, Virginia and one in Washington, D.C. For a list of these locations, please visit OpLanesMD.com/FEIS.
After an availability period for the FEIS, it is anticipated the FHWA will issue a Record of Decision (ROD), identifying this Study’s Selected Alternative. Selection will be based on consideration of the range of reasonable alternatives, efforts to avoid and minimize impacts, and final mitigation measures designed to address potential environmental impacts. The ROD would conclude the NEPA process and document the commitments to be carried forth during final design and construction.
This content was originally shared via Op Lanes Maryland’s e-mail distribution list on June 17, 2022.
To register to receive these emails, please click here.