Maryland board approves major changes to plan for toll lanes on Beltway, I-270

Maryland’s Board of Public Works approved major changes Wednesday to Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270, allowing the state to begin soliciting proposals for one of its largest highway expansion projects.

The board, which had to approve the plan as a public-private partnership, voted 2 to 1 to move it forward. Hogan (R) and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) voted for it, saying the additional lanes would provide badly needed traffic relief and boost the economy. State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D), who represents the General Assembly, opposed it, saying the state had not shown how the plan made financial sense or how it would not hurt the environment.

The board approved the proposal for toll lanes in June but had to reconsider it after the Hogan administration proposed changes in the fall.