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Author Topic: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program  (Read 64080 times)

bluecountry

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #400 on: October 12, 2022, 09:08:23 PM »

Update:

“Contractor Tutor Perini will handle the design and construction contract for Phase 1 South of the New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan in the US state of Maryland.”

- https://www.worldhighways.com/wh10/news/us-bridge-deal-be-handled-tutor-perini
They better widen 495 EB where it shrinks to 2 lanes.

This has never been an issue for the Montgomery County planning staff, the Planning Board or the Montgomery County Council.  None have ever been concerned about it.

Why?  That is the worst part of the beltway.
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odditude

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #401 on: October 13, 2022, 01:03:07 AM »

Update:

“Contractor Tutor Perini will handle the design and construction contract for Phase 1 South of the New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan in the US state of Maryland.”

- https://www.worldhighways.com/wh10/news/us-bridge-deal-be-handled-tutor-perini
They better widen 495 EB where it shrinks to 2 lanes.

This has never been an issue for the Montgomery County planning staff, the Planning Board or the Montgomery County Council.  None have ever been concerned about it.

Why?  That is the worst part of the beltway.

i'd say that's the portion i've been stuck in traffic the least, between the American Legion Bridge and I-95. not that it couldn't use some love, but calling it "the worst part of the beltway" is a bit of a stretch.
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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #402 on: October 13, 2022, 01:08:44 AM »

Update:

“Contractor Tutor Perini will handle the design and construction contract for Phase 1 South of the New American Legion Bridge I-270 Traffic Relief Plan in the US state of Maryland.”

- https://www.worldhighways.com/wh10/news/us-bridge-deal-be-handled-tutor-perini
They better widen 495 EB where it shrinks to 2 lanes.

This has never been an issue for the Montgomery County planning staff, the Planning Board or the Montgomery County Council.  None have ever been concerned about it.

Why?  That is the worst part of the beltway.

i'd say that's the portion i've been stuck in traffic the least, between the American Legion Bridge and I-95. not that it couldn't use some love, but calling it "the worst part of the beltway" is a bit of a stretch.

The small eastbound section where it narrows to 2 lanes often does experience delays, but I think that's more due to the influx of I-270 traffic just downstream, not the flow along I-495 itself.  That curve is pretty sharp, though (in both directions, actually) and it'd be nice to have it smoothed a bit (not that its a realistic idea, just that it would help with safety). 
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #403 on: November 18, 2022, 07:02:56 PM »

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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #404 on: November 18, 2022, 07:51:05 PM »

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plain

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #405 on: November 18, 2022, 08:15:34 PM »

Yeah this is beyond ridiculous at this point.
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kernals12

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #406 on: November 19, 2022, 03:41:13 PM »

I hope someone will explain to Moore that cancelling the project would leave intact one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the country, harming the quality of life throughout the DC area and create a lot of animosity on Virginia's part.
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bluecountry

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #407 on: February 05, 2023, 11:00:25 AM »

What is/was the plan for I-270?
Currently it goes from local/express to 4 lanes at Gaithersburg, 3 lanes at Germantown, then 2 at Clarksburg.
Was the plan to make it 3-2-2-3 or 3-2-3 with the 2 being HOT or reversible?
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cpzilliacus

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #408 on: March 05, 2023, 08:27:17 PM »

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich never met a road project he was not opposed to and that includes the P3 project.

But writer Adam Pagnucco discovered that in spite of the opposition of Elrich to the project, he's assuming that money from the P3 project will be used to help him build BRT, according to his own draft budget for fy 2024.

Quote
Months later, the toll lane spinoff money resurfaced in a surprising place: Elrich’s own recommended capital budget.  His budget explained:

The County Executive’s Recommended CIP assumes $169.7 million in Op Lanes Maryland Transit funding to support Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects on MD355 and Viers Mill/Randolph Road. The Op Lanes Maryland transit funding is the portion of the State’s planned I-495 and I-270 Phase I toll lane proceeds which the Maryland Department of Transportation pledged to fund high priority public transit projects in Montgomery County.

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froggie

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #409 on: March 09, 2023, 07:35:05 PM »

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Plutonic Panda

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #410 on: March 09, 2023, 08:28:27 PM »

Just cancel the project. Let it be traffic hell and move the funds somewhere else. Normally I wouldn’t say that but is going on for too long. Absolutely ridiculous.
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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #411 on: March 09, 2023, 09:34:26 PM »


So glad to be far away from that disaster of a metro
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jmacswimmer

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #412 on: March 10, 2023, 11:15:33 AM »

It's never a good sign when you get an email from your supervisor in the middle of the night...

I haven't said much in this thread previously, but with Transurban pulling out now I'll share that I had been involved with the design during the "Phase Development" stage, and the next step would have been Transurban awarding a Design-Build contract to another team. It's an absolute shame it had to come with this, but in a way I can't blame Transurban for making this decision. It was already looking like an uphill battle with the recent administration change along with former WMATA GM Paul J. Wiedefeld now confirmed by the Senate as the Transportation Secretary, so it strikes me as Transurban seeing the writing on the wall and deciding to cut their losses and walk away on their terms.

So far I've seen a few vague reaction statements from the Governor's office along with the Montgomery County Executive (I had meant to respond to cp's recent post about him, but that might be moot now) about remaining committed to addressing congestion, but I'm not holding my breath. In hindsight I wonder if the project would have had a better shot if the initial focus had been only on I-495 from the Legion Bridge to the I-270 Spur split (easily the worst spot), and I would be content if only that stretch gets addressed in the future. But...wow.

I'll be curious to ask my higher-ups if they've ever seen anything like this in their careers before.

Editted to add: I'd also love to know what VDOT thinks of this, as they're already well underway with construction on 495NEXT to push their toll lanes from VA 267 right up to the Potomac. I would imagine that project moved forward with it in mind that Maryland would pick it up and continue it across the Potomac, but at this point all 495NEXT will do is move the northbound bottleneck 2 miles further north.

Just cancel the project. Let it be traffic hell and move the funds somewhere else. Normally I wouldn’t say that but is going on for too long. Absolutely ridiculous.

Sadly I might have to agree at this point.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2023, 11:48:44 AM by jmacswimmer »
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davewiecking

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #413 on: March 10, 2023, 12:36:33 PM »

Re VA’s 495 NEXT project, while the current plans do include full tie-ins of the GWMP to the VA portion of the Beltway HO/T lanes, they only include repairs to the actual GWMP bridge, and no new ramps heading into MD. Pretty sure VA didn’t expect much out of MD, but hoped this work might add a bit of pressure. At this point the best we can hope for is some of the recent Fed money going to replace the Bridge. Because the MD project was to terminate at the 370 and Old Georgetown Rd interchanges, the congestion at each of those narrowing points would have been far worse than now.

I guess my awesome plan of tunneling the Beltway HO/T lanes from the Spur to near I-95 in College Park will never come to fruition…
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Jmiles32

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #414 on: March 13, 2023, 10:22:57 PM »

Re VA’s 495 NEXT project, while the current plans do include full tie-ins of the GWMP to the VA portion of the Beltway HO/T lanes, they only include repairs to the actual GWMP bridge, and no new ramps heading into MD. Pretty sure VA didn’t expect much out of MD, but hoped this work might add a bit of pressure. At this point the best we can hope for is some of the recent Fed money going to replace the Bridge. Because the MD project was to terminate at the 370 and Old Georgetown Rd interchanges, the congestion at each of those narrowing points would have been far worse than now.

I guess my awesome plan of tunneling the Beltway HO/T lanes from the Spur to near I-95 in College Park will never come to fruition…

Extremely unfortunate but not surprising. The only argument that I thought was somewhat valid from the opponents was the reality that new (and perhaps worse) bottlenecks would be created as a result of Phase 1. However, I don't see how any expansion of the American Legion Bridge (with or without HO/T lanes) or further widening up to I-270 Spur would have not also resulted in new bottlenecks. At least under this scenario, the new I-270 bottleneck would have been eventually alleviated by Phase 1a (which I assume would have also be a P3 deal at no cost to the state).

Now, after already spending over $200 million on planning, permits, etc., Maryland is forced to start back from square one. Regardless of what Phase 1 opponents have said, there is absolutely no guarantee that the federal government covers the full cost of a new American Legion Bridge. It is now entirely possible that limited state transportation funding for other Maryland projects is reallocated in order to fund this. In addition, Montgomery County's dreams of an extensive and reliable BRT network, which would have been made both physically and financially possible as a result of this P3 agreement may also be jeopardy. At best, this setback results in a similar, yet scaled down Phase 1 that just got more expensive and delayed. The worse case scenario is perpetual delay since I have still yet to see any sort of real alternative offered from Phase 1 opponents besides vague "transit improvements" which again WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE AS RESULT OF THIS PROJECT AT NO COST TO THE STATE. But hey for the sake of equity at least everyone will be stuck in traffic. 

Even though Susan Shaw, Virginia's megaprojects director claimed just a few weeks back that she was confident Maryland would be moving forward with Phase 1, she had to of seen this coming from a mile away. The lack of a true DMV HO/T lanes network likely not only affects I-495 NEXT in terms of how those HO/T lanes will be integrated with whatever Maryland now does but also perhaps the potential I-495 southside extension, which at this moment, is planned to continue across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and into Maryland. Got to imagine those affected homeowners along the I-495 NEXT project are pretty furious right now.

Ultimately, I think Maryland will come to regret this decision (even thought it was technically Transurban that walked, Maryland was purposely making it pretty much impossible not to) and the ramifications of increased traffic congestion and unreliability may be felt for years to come (FBI headquarters?).

Oh and P.S. as this is all happening Maryland continues to build express toll lanes north of Baltimore where literally the only people who can use them are the ones who can afford to. Don't remember "equity" being mentioned then. Ridiculous. 
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froggie

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #415 on: March 14, 2023, 12:04:38 AM »

Oh and P.S. as this is all happening Maryland continues to build express toll lanes north of Baltimore where literally the only people who can use them are the ones who can afford to. Don't remember "equity" being mentioned then. Ridiculous. 

There's a small, often-overlooked, but very relevant difference between the two.  I-95 north of Baltimore is officially an MdTA toll facility...the entire distance from the Baltimore city limit to the Delaware line.  It gives the illusion of being a freeway but in reality is not...over the years toll collection has been all consolidated down to the northbound toll booth just past the Tydings Bridge.
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famartin

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #416 on: March 14, 2023, 12:24:09 AM »

Oh and P.S. as this is all happening Maryland continues to build express toll lanes north of Baltimore where literally the only people who can use them are the ones who can afford to. Don't remember "equity" being mentioned then. Ridiculous. 

There's a small, often-overlooked, but very relevant difference between the two.  I-95 north of Baltimore is officially an MdTA toll facility...the entire distance from the Baltimore city limit to the Delaware line.  It gives the illusion of being a freeway but in reality is not...over the years toll collection has been all consolidated down to the northbound toll booth just past the Tydings Bridge.

That definitely gives them a lot more flexibility. That said, if even if the Capital Beltway was always an MdTA facility, they'd still run into nearly as much opposition to this as MDOT SHA is getting. The Beltway is just a different environment, physically and politically, compared to I-95 north of Baltimore.
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jmacswimmer

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #417 on: March 14, 2023, 10:53:36 AM »

All relevant points - to build off a couple of them:

Oh and P.S. as this is all happening Maryland continues to build express toll lanes north of Baltimore where literally the only people who can use them are the ones who can afford to. Don't remember "equity" being mentioned then. Ridiculous. 
There's a small, often-overlooked, but very relevant difference between the two.  I-95 north of Baltimore is officially an MdTA toll facility...the entire distance from the Baltimore city limit to the Delaware line.  It gives the illusion of being a freeway but in reality is not...over the years toll collection has been all consolidated down to the northbound toll booth just past the Tydings Bridge.

I might remember cp saying somewhere a while ago, either here or in the main Maryland thread, that MDTA financing & operating their ETL's themselves (versus thru a P3) contributed to the fact that there is no toll-free ride for HOV's. The toll rates also follow a set schedule and are (IMHO) pretty reasonable compared to the NoVa network (again, likely connected to the fact that MDTA operates them themselves versus thru a P3). IIRC the current rates end-to-end are $1.19 at most times, rising to $1.54 during peak hours and falling to $0.49 overnight. The public comment period for the northbound ETL extension toll rate setting is currently open, with the current toll proposal set to "mirror existing I-95 Express Toll Lanes Plan". Assuming this means that the per-mile rates will be the same, I'd estimate the cost to ride the full extended length from I-895 to MD 24 as $3.06 at most times, rising to $3.96 during peak hours and falling to $1.26 overnight.

More info if anyone is interested: https://mdta.maryland.gov/I95ETLNB-Section200

That definitely gives them a lot more flexibility. That said, if even if the Capital Beltway was always an MdTA facility, they'd still run into nearly as much opposition to this as MDOT SHA is getting. The Beltway is just a different environment, physically and politically, compared to I-95 north of Baltimore.

If I've learned anything in my short career so far, it's that Montgomery County is a different beast compared to any other county in Maryland. I speculated in my post a few days ago wondering if this project would have had a better shot had they focused only on I-495 from the Legion Bridge to the I-270 spur initially, because I suspect a lot of MoCo's pushback is focused more on I-270 after watching it be widened numerous times over the years into its current local-express setup and still experience congestion (not unlike the 401 in Toronto). The other thing I'm curious about in hindsight is what would have happened if the Prince George's County stretch hadn't been dropped so early on - I've noted elsewhere on this forum how the beltway feels like 2 completely different roads in MoCo versus PG, with the PG stretch having a grass median and gentler curves compared to the tight winding stretch following Rock Creek in MoCo.

The other thing that might be playing a role (whether or not it should) is how messy the Purple Line project has been - this is also a P3, and so far has seen the original concessionaire walk from the project in the middle of construction which has contributed to the project being over budget as well as several years behind schedule. Since this is the only other large-scale P3 in Maryland that local leadership has as a reference point, it might have given them the wrong impression that all P3's must be disasters. Never mind all those P3's happening across the Potomac...
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Jmiles32

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Re: I-495 and I-270 P3 Program
« Reply #418 on: March 14, 2023, 05:13:29 PM »

All relevant points - to build off a couple of them:

Oh and P.S. as this is all happening Maryland continues to build express toll lanes north of Baltimore where literally the only people who can use them are the ones who can afford to. Don't remember "equity" being mentioned then. Ridiculous. 
There's a small, often-overlooked, but very relevant difference between the two.  I-95 north of Baltimore is officially an MdTA toll facility...the entire distance from the Baltimore city limit to the Delaware line.  It gives the illusion of being a freeway but in reality is not...over the years toll collection has been all consolidated down to the northbound toll booth just past the Tydings Bridge.

I might remember cp saying somewhere a while ago, either here or in the main Maryland thread, that MDTA financing & operating their ETL's themselves (versus thru a P3) contributed to the fact that there is no toll-free ride for HOV's. The toll rates also follow a set schedule and are (IMHO) pretty reasonable compared to the NoVa network (again, likely connected to the fact that MDTA operates them themselves versus thru a P3). IIRC the current rates end-to-end are $1.19 at most times, rising to $1.54 during peak hours and falling to $0.49 overnight. The public comment period for the northbound ETL extension toll rate setting is currently open, with the current toll proposal set to "mirror existing I-95 Express Toll Lanes Plan". Assuming this means that the per-mile rates will be the same, I'd estimate the cost to ride the full extended length from I-895 to MD 24 as $3.06 at most times, rising to $3.96 during peak hours and falling to $1.26 overnight.

More info if anyone is interested: https://mdta.maryland.gov/I95ETLNB-Section200

Still, even if the ETL toll rates are reasonable and Maryland isn't in it for the profits, then why not just make them HO/T to encourage carpooling and slugging? Its not like Harford County doesn't already have multiple park & ride lots close to the interstate. Would be interesting to see if it would make a difference ridership wise.

If I've learned anything in my short career so far, it's that Montgomery County is a different beast compared to any other county in Maryland. I speculated in my post a few days ago wondering if this project would have had a better shot had they focused only on I-495 from the Legion Bridge to the I-270 spur initially, because I suspect a lot of MoCo's pushback is focused more on I-270 after watching it be widened numerous times over the years into its current local-express setup and still experience congestion (not unlike the 401 in Toronto). The other thing I'm curious about in hindsight is what would have happened if the Prince George's County stretch hadn't been dropped so early on - I've noted elsewhere on this forum how the beltway feels like 2 completely different roads in MoCo versus PG, with the PG stretch having a grass median and gentler curves compared to the tight winding stretch following Rock Creek in MoCo.

It seemed to me at the time that PG was not overly thrilled about a Beltway P3 project through their county either. The potential high toll prices in particular seemed to be the biggest complaint. However, it will be interesting to see how the county reacts if and when Virginia moves forward with the I-495 Southside Extension that is currently slated to include crossing the Wilson Bridge into PG. Perhaps HO/T lanes starting there and working they're way up that side of the beltway would be more popular, as at least environmentally, it would have far less of an impact. 

The other thing that might be playing a role (whether or not it should) is how messy the Purple Line project has been - this is also a P3, and so far has seen the original concessionaire walk from the project in the middle of construction which has contributed to the project being over budget as well as several years behind schedule. Since this is the only other large-scale P3 in Maryland that local leadership has as a reference point, it might have given them the wrong impression that all P3's must be disasters. Never mind all those P3's happening across the Potomac...

I agree that the Purple Line saga (still on-going) indeed played a role though I suspect some Maryland politicians may not openly admit that because its a transit project. Would honestly not be surprised if Maryland does ultimately decide to add HO/T lanes, just ones that they build and control themselves because of a distrust towards P3s. Curious though whether Virginia and Transurban will have to add some sort of complicated HO/T lanes to whatever transition at the bridge that I'm sure the I-495 NEXT design did not originally account for.
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