Residents have until Tuesday, Nov. 30, to submit comments on the proposed I-495 and I-270 Managed Lanes Study Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) to the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Comments can be submitted through 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday.
The SDEIS was published Oct. 1 following more than three years of study, analysis and public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A 45-day comment period was originally provided. However, considering input and requests, MDOT SHA and FHWA extended the comment period to 60 days.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, who opposes significant parts of the proposal, had advocated for the longer comment period so more residents could express their views on the plan.
Prior to providing comments, residents are encouraged to review the online presentation and copy of the SDEIS available at OpLanesMD.com/SDEIS. Hard copies of the SDEIS and electronic copies of the SDEIS technical reports also are available for review at multiple library locations in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. A list of thoselocations is available at OpLanesMD.com/SDEIS.
To comment on the SDEIS, residents can provide verbal testimony by dialing 855-432-1483 and leaving a single voicemail message limited to three minutes. In addition, those interested in providing written comments can:
- Submit an electronic comment form at OpLanesMD.com/SDEIS
- Email at oplanesMLS@mdot.maryland.gov
- Send a written letter to Jeffrey T. Folden /Director, I-495 and I-270 P3 Office /Maryland Department of Transportation /State Highway Administration / 707 North Calvert St. / Mail Stop P-601 /Baltimore, MD 21202
The SDEIS presents results relevant to Alternative 9 – Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370, which was identified in May 2021 by FHWA and MDOT SHA as the Preferred Alternative under the Managed Lanes Study.
While the Managed Lanes Study considers ways to relieve congestion and improve trip reliability, mobility and connectivity for all modes of travel in the National Capital Region—including transit—the Preferred Alternative focuses on replacing the 60-year-old American Legion Bridge and delivering two high occupancy toll (HOT) managed lanes in each direction within Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370. The SDEIS builds upon the analysis and information in the existing Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), but is limited to providing new information about the Preferred Alternative.
The Managed Lanes Study complements Virginia’s I-495 Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project and the joint Maryland and Virginia I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit/Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Study. The Managed Lanes Study further extends the network of travel options with HOT managed lanes by expanding upon the collective efforts to rebuild the American Legion Bridge.