Thursday, April 25, 2013
Speeds above 90 mph should be allowed on the Intercounty Connector, says a letter in The Washington Post.
The Intercounty Connector recently increased its speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph. Should it go even higher? The road—also known as MD 200—was designed for speeds up to 60 mph. But that's not stopping one Washington Post reader from insisting the state should turn the ICC into the American autobahn. The German highway allows drivers many long stretches of road without any speed limit. In his letter to The Washington Post, Brian Moore, of Bethesda, thinks it's a concept Maryland ought to at least consider consider: Why enforce a speed limit at all? If Maryland had any marketing sense, instead of enforcing speed limits on a road that few people bother to use, it would rebrand the ICC as an American autobahn. When you are as desperate for …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
A recap of recent regional news in the new year.
Gaithersburg Closer to Lifting Fortunetelling Ban Gaithersburg Planning Commission is expected to meet today to vote recommend that the city allow fortunetellers to set up in certain parts of Gaithersburg, The Gazette reports. Gaithersburg Patch offers some background in a story published back in June 2012. The Gazette’s story is available online. ‘A deer, a baby, a bank robber and a head-on bus crash — all in a morning’s work at Metro’ The Washington Post reports on a string of strange incidents that occurred on Metro trains and a bus last week—everything from a woman going into labor on the Red Line en route to Grosvernor-Strathmore to a deer struck by a Green Line train in Prince George’s County. The story is available on The …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Montgomery County Council Member Phil Andrews proposes a cut in ICC tolls to get more drivers to use the road, NBC Washington reports.
Montgomery County Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3), of Gaithersburg, says a deep cut in tolls would increase traffic on the Intercounty Connector and he's calling on the state to do it, NBC Washington reported. Andrews says the $8 round-trip rush-hour toll is among the highest in the nation. He would propose "at least a trial period of several months, if not, a year when the tolls would be...cut in half, in hopes of doubling the traffic," according to the report. A decision on the toll rate is up to the Maryland Transportation Authority. A spokeswoman for the MTA told The Washington Post the ICC is meeting both traffic and revenue projections. The road was designed to carry traffic volumes projected for 2030, according to the report. …
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
One contractor disputes that the company is at fault.
Engineers for Maryland's most high-tech highway are nearly half way to mending hairline fractures found in 10 of the bridges that carry the Intercounty Connector between Gaithersburg and Laurel. Repair work has wrapped up on four of those bridges and is set to start this week on three more. But who’s to blame for cracks at two other bridges remains at question. The contractor who designed those bridges is disputing the state’s assessment that the cracks are the contractor's fault. The ICC’s western third opened in February 2011 amid a flurry of both fanfare and skepticism. Eight months later, inspectors found cracks in three bridges along that 7.2-mile stretch—known as “Contract A”—in the ICC’s “pier caps,” the concrete structures …
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A spokesperson for the road says it's still safe.
Maryland's newest state highway is already in trouble. Two bridges that carry Intercounty Connector drivers through East Montgomery County have cracks, state inspectors have found. The ramp near Route 29 and bridge over Route 29 and Briggs Chaney Road have cracks, WTOP reports. A spokesperson for the ICC said the bridges are safe, despite the fissures, which he said impact durability. Independent contractors will foot the bill to repair the bridges. Last October, three cracks were found in the road's interchanges at Needwood Road, Emory Lane and Georgia Avenue. The road that stretches from Gaithersburg to Laurel cost the state about $2.56 billion. The eastern portion, from Georgia Avenue to I-95, opened last November. --- See …
Sunday, December 4, 2011
After 50 years, it’s worth the wait.
For nearly 20 years, I've listened to every conceivable argument for and against the Intercounty Connector (ICC). Now, after taking my first drive on it last week, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on whether or not it was worth it. One of the key advantages of the ICC, in all the traffic studies over these many years, was the time savings it was expected to deliver. Studies always showed the ICC would cut the average travel time between I-270 and I-95 nearly in half. So, on the first day it was open, some friends and I, who together helped found the Suburban Maryland Transportation Alliance, did a little test-drive to see if the reality measured up to what studies predicted. As it turns out, it did. We headed out at 7:30 a.m…
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Montgomery and Prince George's county officials joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Monday morning to cut ribbon on first phase of Intercounty Connector.
Politicians and other government officials celebrated the completion of the first section of the Intercounty Connector at a ceremony along the new toll highway Monday morning. The road is scheduled to open to traffic Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6 a.m.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Interstate 370-to-Georgia Avenue segment will be toll-free until March 6.
The first segment of the Intercounty Connector, a seven-mile stretch from Shady Grove to just northeast of Rockville, will open two weeks from today, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced on Monday. The state's first all-electronic toll road, it will be known as Maryland Route 200. Its first piece will connect Interstate 370 to Georgia Avenue. The segment will open at 6 a.m. on Feb. 22, weather permitting, the Maryland Transportation Authority said in a news release. Motorists may will be able to "test drive" the ICC without paying tolls through March 6. MDTA will use the test drive period to test its electronic toll system under actual traffic conditions as drivers get accustomed to the road's variable pricing structure, the release said. …