As we move further into 2022, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that Op Lanes Maryland was able to accomplish during the past year.
The I-495 & I-270 Public-Private Partnership (P3) Program was renamed Op Lanes Maryland and achieved many of its most important milestones.
Starting with the environmental review process, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) kicked off 2021 by identifying Alternative 9, or two high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, as the Recommended Preferred Alternative (RPA) under the I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study (MLS). However, after months of collaboration with agencies, public officials, and stakeholders on the RPA, MDOT SHA and FHWA announced the Study’s Preferred Alternative would focus solely on Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 with no action at this time on I-495 east of the I-270 east spur to MD 5.
In October, MDOT SHA and FHWA published a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to share new information and seek public input on the Preferred Alternative’s updated traffic, engineering and environmental impacts, which were significantly reduced. During a 60-day public comment period and virtual public hearing, the SDEIS garnered more than 2,000 comments.
In a concurrent solicitation process, MDOT and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) awarded a Phase P3 Agreement to Accelerate Maryland Partners LLC (AM Partners) to be the developer responsible for predevelopment work on the Phase 1: New American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Traffic Relief Plan.
Throughout the year as COVID-19 restrictions eased and regional traffic rebounded to near pre-pandemic levels, Op Lanes Maryland continued to ramp up public outreach and engagement. MDOT SHA held dozens of meetings with stakeholders, homeowner/community associations and attended many pop-up events throughout Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties. The program also launched new, dedicated social media channels.
This content was originally shared via Op Lanes Maryland’s e-mail distribution list on January 28, 2022.