Work should begin this fall on a $100 million project aimed at relieving congestion on Interstate 270 through Frederick and Montgomery counties.

Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced the plans for the project at a news conference Wednesday while overlooking the interstate near Rockville.

The project will provide “real-time, dynamic traffic management” along the I-270 corridor, Hogan said.

When the improvements are finished, they are expected to save up to 30 minutes for commuters who get on the highway in Frederick County in the morning and head south, Hogan said.

It calls for using technology such as more than 25 signs to relay real-time traffic information, and more than 30 intelligent signals that planners believe will combine to help manage traffic along the I-270 corridor, along with adding 23 new lane miles along the highway.

Design work has already started on the improvements, with construction work expected to start in the fall. The project is expected to be finished by 2019.

It combines work by 16 companies, many of which have offices in Maryland, but none in Frederick County.

I-270, which runs more than 34 miles from Interstate 70 in Frederick to Interstate 495 in Montgomery County, handles from 79,400 to 261,200 vehicles a day at various points. Those numbers are expected to increase to 107,000 to 290,000 vehicles a day by 2030, according to the State Highway Administration.

The project will use technology to help improve the flow of traffic, including sensors in the road and cameras to help manage the flow of traffic on the interstate and surrounding roads.

That equipment could help regulate the flow of traffic from entrance ramps onto the highway to control traffic, said SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar.

It could also include traffic signals that can communicate with one another to identify spots with high congestion and provide longer green lights to help thin it out, he said.

Hogan warned that the project would not be a “magic fix” to addressing the problem of congestion on I-270, but will help by making improvements.

Much of the work will be done in Montgomery County, but some of the technological improvements will be made at the interchange of I-270 and Md. 80, which is also scheduled to receive expanded acceleration and deceleration lanes between interchanges.

Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D) said in an email Wednesday that Hogan’s announcement was good news.

People are tired of wasting time sitting in traffic, she said.

“The I-270 corridor is an important economic engine to the state of Maryland and the region,” said Gardner, who was not at the event. “Any and all improvements that keep people and goods and services moving are welcome.”

The state is aware of the heavy flow of commuters coming south from Frederick County in the morning, said SHA Administrator Gregory Slater.

“We wanted to do the whole corridor,” he said.

But the I-270 corridor will continue to grow, and the state will continue to monitor traffic in the area, he said.

According to the Maryland Department of Planning, Frederick County’s population is expected to grow by 88,500 people — to 334,000 — by 2040. Montgomery County is expected to grow by 170,800 people, to 1,206,800.

The money will go a long way toward providing relief for commuters in the short term, Slater said.

The state wanted to put a significant amount of money toward maximizing improvements that could be made now, rather than spending four or five years studying the problem before taking action, he said.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP.

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(39) comments

jerseygrl42

Hope those lane miles are in Frederick, otherwise all the signs in the world aren't going to help a bit when there are few if any options to I-270

davis1968

All of the Maryland's collected taxes get spent on Baltimore and the bigger cities to the East. Western Marylanders throw their tax dollars away.

jerseygrl42

...and more than 80% of the fed budget is spent on entitlements of some sort..."The Great Society" at work

Moon otter

They need to add climbing lanes out of Frederick and near Clarksburg area. Just with climbing lanes will allow tractor trailers from causing some of the back up. Adding additional lanes will be obsolete by the time they get it done cause some of the bridges need to be widd

elymus43

All this will do is bring more new homes and people to Frederick county. This will put a burden on our schools, police, fire and other services. Stop building new homes.

rbtdt5

LOL... all the suckers that drive 270 everyday to make a few dollars more. I'm part of the 30% that live and work in county. My commute is less than 15 minutes and I never hit a highway.

DickD

Hey, Rabbit, you can work for half pay if you want. Those going down 270 usually double their salary. But if you want to work for peanuts, that is your business. LOL

des21

I make 25k more to drive 35 minutes- LOL yourself rbt, I'm laughing all the way to the bank!

KellyAlzan

WTH?? Where is our voice Ronald Young?? HUH, where?

DickD

What we really need is the Metro extended out to Frederick. This $100 million fix is a waste of money.

theoriginalone08

When was the last time you rode Metro? It's falling apart and crowded beyond capacity. What we need are more lanes on 270 and 15, and a dedicated bus lane. Metro is a joke.

des21

Right Dick- with its terminus in Middletown. You can become the new Gaithersburg![beam]

DickD

No, no, des, the terminal will be in Urbana to help you and Tony. You got me on that one, des. LOL

des21

Urbana would make sense given what we've done to it. The GOP strategy has been to turn southern FredCo into MoCo and head to Emittsburg!

Mamataji

What a ridiculous waste of money! How about adding lanes from Clarksburg north, fixing the horrible accident prone Urbana exit area, and adding metro all the way to Frederick! If they would just add a metro line, that alone would help a considerable amount! The only thing available now is the Marc train and the times to depart and arrive back in Frederick are extremely limited!

DeplorableLocalVeteran

A better soultion would've been to use the 100 million to pay companies to relocate workers to Frederick and Washington Counties.

Whatsup

This is discriminatory. Why wasn’t a business in Frederick chosen? I think they need to reassess this. Why are we not able to select businesses that are home based in MD? Remember back in the day when people would say that Donald Schafer was the best Governor that Baltimore ever had? Well, when will we be able to say Larry Hogan was the best Governor Frederick ever had? Preposterous that up to 30 minutes will be taken off a rush hour commute. The other day I heard on the television news that new lanes would be added at the spur. Is everyone happy about that? So MD is spending money that will basically act like a band-aide, and then we will have to turn around and spend more to really fix things, in effect wasting the funds being used for the band-aide.

theoriginalone08

What a colossal waste of money! This will offer zero relief to Frederick County commuters. This clearly was intended to appease MoCo. It's nearly impossible to fathom why 270 is only two lanes from Clarksburg north, when it should've been widended to four lanes each way years ago. Likewise with Rt 15 up to Devilbiss Road -- four lanes north and south. Frederick County will become a third-rate dump with townhouses and apartments everywhere but lousy jobs and no proper infrastructure. Pathetic.

Frayou

Agree. Similar to Gaithersburg, Rockville 270 corridors. Have you visited the greater Lake Forrest Mall community lately? Reminds me of the former Golden Mile area. This is why the Urbana area is growing so fast. Influx from Montgomery Co.

theoriginalone08

Yep, Montgomery Village and most of G'burg and Germantown are slums. Sadly, there has been a steady migration out of those area up to Urbana, Ballenger Creek and Frederick. In ten years, southern and central Frederick County will become just like Montgomery Village -- but without the roads, infrastructure and close proximity to better jobs. We will be just a poorer version of MoCo, but with all the crime and ugliness.

Frayou

👍👍I have a daughter who once lived near this community. She started her teaching career there as well. I feared for her safety all the time. We happen to visit Lake Forest at that time. It appeared to be s local hangout for undesirables. Similar to the Fredericktown Mall prior to it's beginning demise. Politians will never learn or don't care.

theoriginalone08

Yep, the Frederick County government is making all the same mistakes MoCo made in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Now that the areas down there are unlivable and crime ridden, they're moving up here. It's quite obvious to anyone who's lived here for 10-plus years.

Jleftwich

Shaving off 30-minutes of one's commute? Along I-270 itself, perhaps. With signals being implemented on the ramps it sounds as though the congestion is being shifted to the roads accessing 270.

Frayou

I don't know whether this technology is proven, but sounds like a DMT tinker toy which I envision someone at DMT will be sitting somewhere removed from the congestion playing with. Again, State official had to mention Frederick County to "suggest" some benefit in order to justify spending majority in Montgomery. I doubt it will improve bottleneck to & from beltway or 2 lanes back into Frederick.

Fawned

$100 million and no new lanes. This is peak Maryland stupidity. 30 minutes off commutes - I'll believe it when I see it [lol]

KellyAlzan

i agree. and....look at the wording - it says "up to 30 minutes". which means it may only be 5 to 12 minutes. 100 mil $$$ is a lot of money for such uncertain results

richardlyons

[thumbup][thumbup] This is a joke! Use the $100 M to add an additional lane (even if just for a couple of miles). The project doesn't address non-intelligent drivers!

gardenwhimsey

"Much of the work will be done in Montgomery County..." no surprise there. $100 million for overhead signs that are going to tell people that traffic is slow and backed up, which they already know because they are sitting in it. EXPAND THE RED LINE TO FREDERICK COUNTY !

theoriginalone08

Expanding Metro's Red Line to Frederick is 1) not practical by any stretch of the imagination, and 2) would cost more than adding a bus-only lane along 270 from 70 to 495 and back. I feel your disgust, though.

nbouqu1

Expanded MARC service is cheaper and easier to put in place. You do NOT want the Metro extended into Frederick. Beyond costs, that will only encourage more development.

Dinterman

HUGE waste of OUR money! Just get it over with an add 2 (TWO) more lanes on each side. Frederick and surrounding counties are just going to continue to add more traffic on that road.

duffy5x

what a huge waste of time and money. Anything short of more lanes coming out of Frederick, or a light rail from frederick to shady grove metro is going to be a very expensive band aid. Anyone that thinks smart traffic lights and road sensors are going to have an effect, is fooling themselves.

DisabledFrederickVeteran

This redneck and ghetto solution for I-270 is waste of tax dollars, it shows the lack of commitment the governor has to Western and Central MD's transportation requirements. We need a real innovative governor who can create jobs, construct roads and encourage private sector economic growth.

jwhamann

People will get to work 30 minutes earlier and hang around the water cooler for 30 minutes.... [wink]

Frayou

I saw this grandstand presentation on local news channel and noted only Montgomery Co. politians present and suspect any proposed improvements will mainly benefit Montgomery Co.? Question? How many times are we going to see money repeatedly pumped into Montgomery roads before the State extends the 3rd lanes on 270 to Frederick? Is the Gov. attempting to buy Montgomery Co. votes in the next election, with this project?

DickD

Maybe he is, Frayou, but it will not work.

des21

Yes it will.

des21

Yes.

DickD

No.

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