On January 8, 2020, the Maryland Board of Public Works (BPW) voted to amend the designation of the I-495 & I-270 P3 Program to advance as a public-private partnership and the proposed competitive solicitation process. The BPW set a condition that the solicitation process start with Phase 1 on I-495 beginning in the vicinity of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia to I-270 in Maryland and on I-270 from I-495 to I-70. I-495 from the vicinity of the George Washington Memorial Parkway to the I-270 west spur, and the I-270 west spur to I-370, will be delivered first. This approval by the BPW only allows the solicitation process to move forward for a Phase Developer to assist the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) with preliminary development and design activities, which is allowable under federal regulations. This approval by the BPW does not authorize other activities, such as final design and construction. An environmental decision document under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will be approved before final design and construction will commence on any portion of Phase 1. This is in addition to any future BPW approvals necessary.
The BPW vote does not affect the ongoing federal NEPA process for the I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study. The I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study will continue to analyze potential environmental impacts associated with the Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study (ARDS) along the entire 48 miles of the study corridor. The results of the analysis will be available in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), anticipated to be published for public review and comment in Spring 2020. Following the publication of the DEIS, a series of public hearings will allow the public an additional opportunity to provide comments on the alternatives and the associated environmental impacts of the I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study.