House, Senate Bills Could Jam Up Maryland Governor Hogan’s Highway Plan

Maryland lawmakers will hear testimony this week on a measure that would give counties potential veto power over the Hogan administration’s $9 billion plan to widen the Capital Beltway, Interstate 270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Brooke E. Lierman (D-Baltimore City), would extend power that nine Eastern Shore counties have had since the 1970s to all Maryland subdivisions. It has the backing of transit advocates and others opposed to the plan Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced in 2017.

If approved, the elected leaders of Montgomery, Prince George’s, Frederick and other affected counties would gain the power to block state plans to widen I-495, I-270 and the parkway by two lanes in each direction.

The administration has proposed using a public-private partnership in which private sector firms would foot the bill for construction of the new lanes in exchange for the right to charge tolls on them.