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**REMINDER** ONE WEEK LEFT TO COMMENT ON RECOMMENDED TOLL RATE RANGES FOR PHASE 1 SOUTH: AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE I-270 TO I-370

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 21, 2021

 

**REMINDER**

ONE WEEK LEFT TO COMMENT ON RECOMMENDED
TOLL RATE RANGES FOR PHASE 1 SOUTH:
AMERICAN LEGION BRIDGE I-270 TO I-370

Public Comments Accepted Through 5 p.m. Thursday, October 28

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is reminding the public that one week remains in the second comment period for the toll rate range setting process for proposed High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. The second public comment period opened September 30 and continues through 5 p.m. October 28.

Comments will be accepted for the official record through 5 p.m. October 28. Those wishing to provide comments may:

  • submit an electronic comment form at mdta.maryland.gov/ALB270TollSetting;
  • download and email a completed comment form to ALB270TollSetting@mdta.maryland.gov;
  • print and mail a completed comment form to Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Toll Rate Range Public Comment, Maryland Transportation Authority, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224; or
  • provide a single voicemail message 24/7 that is limited to three minutes by calling 855-701-1977.

ALL COMMENTS received will be given EQUAL CONSIDERATION. The MDTA encourages the public to review the toll rate range recommendation for Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 at mdta.maryland.gov/ALB270TollSetting prior to commenting. Elements of the recommendation for public comment include the minimum and maximum toll rate ranges, soft rate cap, discounts and escalation factors.

As a result of comments received during the first public comment period, which ran May 20 to August 14 and included in-person and virtual call-in public hearings, the toll rate ranges now being recommended reflect a new base minimum per-mile toll rate of 17 cents per mile – lower than the 20 cents per mile proposed in May. The 17 cents per mile recommendation is consistent with the base off-peak minimum per-mile toll rate for the MDTA’s Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200.

On November 10, the MDTA will post a summary and analysis of comments received during the second comment period at mdta.maryland.gov/ALB270TollSetting. The summary also will be presented during a livestreamed MDTA Board meeting on November 18 that will be open to the public. At this meeting, MDTA staff will present the final toll rate range recommendation to the Board. The Board will accept additional in-person public comment during the meeting prior to voting whether to approve the toll rate ranges.

Pre-registration is required to comment on the final toll rate range recommendation during the November 18 MDTA Board meeting, and those offering comments must attend the meeting in person at the MDTA, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224. Please call 410‑537-1002 at least two business days prior to the scheduled meeting to sign up to speak. The following information will be needed: name, contact number and the item(s) on the agenda you would like to speak about. Public comments will be limited to two minutes per person.

Unless otherwise indicated on the MDTA Board Meeting Schedule webpage, the meeting will begin at 9 a.m., though some items may include a closed session that is not open to the public. Anyone planning to attend the MDTA Board meeting who wishes to receive auxiliary aids, services or accommodations is invited to contact 711 (MD Relay) at least 48 hours in advance.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for the I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study on October 1, 2021. The SDEIS provides new information related to Preferred Alternative, Alternative 9 – Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. Publication of the SDEIS is part of the ongoing National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.  

This SDEIS has been prepared to consider new information developed after the DEIS was published in July 2020, and presents results relevant to Alternative 9 – Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370, which was identified on May 12, 2021, by FHWA and MDOT SHA as the Preferred Alternative. This alternative focuses on replacing the 60-year-old American Legion Bridge and delivering two HOT lanes in each direction within Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370.

The Preferred Alternative is designed to provide a new American Legion Bridge, address existing traffic and long-term traffic growth, enhance trip reliability, support regional transit improvements, foster new opportunities for transit and increased carpool/vanpool/ridesharing, and improve the movement of goods and services. In addition, the alternative would provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements to enhance connectivity of area sidewalks and trails, including the addition of a shared use path on the new American Legion Bridge across the Potomac River.

Transit buses, motorcycles, and HOV 3+ vehicles – those carrying three or more people – would be permitted to use the HOT lanes toll free. On I-495, the Preferred Alternative consists of adding two new HOT lanes in each direction from the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Fairfax County, Va., to east of MD 187, Old Georgetown Road. On I-270, the Preferred Alternative consists of converting the one existing HOV lane in each direction to a HOT lane and adding one new HOT lane in each direction on I-270 from I-495 to north of I-370, and on the I-270 east and west spurs.

More details on the SDEIS and the Preferred Alternative can be found at oplanesmd.com/SDEIS/

If you are unable to access the materials online, or if you require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or require language translation services (free of charge), please contact the MDTA’s Title VI Officer at mdtaeeo@mdta.maryland.gov or at 410-537-6720.

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