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Posted at 2:12 PM ET, 02/ 7/2011

ICC toll road to open Feb. 22

By Washington Post Editors

The first segment of Maryland's newest toll road, the Intercounty Connector, is scheduled to open Feb. 22, according to state officials. The 7.2-mile section between I-370 and Georgia Avenue will open at 6 a.m. that day.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Feb. 21 at 11 a.m.

The opening depends on good weather to allow crews in bucket trucks to unveil ICC-related signs on I-270 the night of Feb. 21, said Valerie Burnette-Edgar, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Drivers will be required to have an E-ZPass transponder or a bill for the toll, plus a $3 service fee, will be mailed to the address on the vehicle's registration. However, state officials said drivers can "test drive" the ICC, which will be known as Maryland Route 200, through March 6 at no charge. The tolls will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 7. The additional service fee will be waived for drivers without E-ZPass accounts until midnight April 5.

Rush-hour drivers of two-axle vehicles will pay about 25 cents a mile to use the highway. The tolls will make the six-lane highway, an east-west link outside the Capital Beltway, among the nation's most expensive to use.

State officials have said the tolls must be high enough to make the highway an attractive, free-flowing alternative to congested roads. The tolls also must bring in revenue to help cover the debt service on $1.2 billion in toll-backed bonds that helped fund the road's $2.56 billion in construction costs.

When finished , the six-lane, 18.8 mile highway will connect the I-270 corridor in Montgomery County with the Interstate 95 corridor in Laurel, in northwestern Prince George's County. The remaining two segments in the highway's middle and eastern sections are scheduled to open by late this year or early 2012, officials have said.

Related Intercounty Connector coverage

By Washington Post Editors  | February 7, 2011; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  
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Comments

When that Road is sparsely used... the fee will be reduced or even gone because this project has been a hot debate button for the last few years... as long as there is a cost to drive that road, I wont drive it... I'll battle traffic:)

Posted by: rvanags | February 7, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Glad this is finally happening. Too many people get hurt in accidents on Randolph Rd, Muncaster Mill Rd, etc. which for years have been serving as de facto "Intercounty Connectors".

If it were me I would charge trucks and buses NO toll - this would get many truck and buses off secondary roads and maybe the Beltway. I doubt there is political will (or wisdom?) for an idea that radical.

There could also be interdependent tolls - if the Beltway and/or lower I-270 got jammed ICC tolls would be reduced or eliminated until the Intercounty Connector drew off some of that traffic. Imagine "drive free with little delay exit now" on the overhead signs on the Beltway and 270.

Also, I know (and I'm sure it's been anticipated) that Georgia Avenue is gonna be pretty busy as the unplanned terminus of the new highway and I hope there are some new traffic management plans in place. Traffic is pretty heavy in that area now.

Posted by: TedDubin | February 7, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Glad this is finally happening. Too many people get hurt in accidents on Randolph Rd, Muncaster Mill Rd, etc. which for years have been serving as de facto "Intercounty Connectors".

If it were me I would charge trucks and buses NO toll - this would get many truck and buses off secondary roads and maybe the Beltway. I doubt there is political will (or wisdom?) for an idea that radical.

There could also be interdependent tolls - if the Beltway and/or lower I-270 got jammed ICC tolls would be reduced or eliminated until the Intercounty Connector drew off some of that traffic. Imagine "drive free with little delay exit now" on the overhead signs on the Beltway and 270.

Also, I know (and I'm sure it's been anticipated) that Georgia Avenue is gonna be pretty busy as the unplanned terminus of the new highway and I hope there are some new traffic management plans in place. Traffic is pretty heavy in that area now.

Posted by: TedDubin | February 7, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

As someone who lives right near 370 and knows how useful it is even to get between Shady Grove and 270, I can only imagine what this project will do for Montgomery County, PGC, Howard County, and beyond. Who says that government can't do anything useful? Oh right, reactionaries.

Posted by: laugh_riot | February 7, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock, a minor correction. MDTA's ICC website (listed below) clearly states "early 2012" for completing the Georgia Ave to I-95 segment. I think they've resigned themselves to the fact that they won't get it done this year:

http://www.mdta.maryland.gov/TollFacilities/ICC.html

Posted by: ajfroggie | February 8, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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