WASHINGTON — Leaders from around the region voted against a project to widen the Interstate 270 and Interstate 495 highways and add express lanes along the Beltway.
The push to vote against the highway expansion was due to environmental concerns, officials said during a news conference on Wednesday.
The project plan would add new lanes and tolls on the Interstate. However, officials believed more lanes would increase the region's greenhouse gases.
But, this decision doesn't mean the project is dead.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan already approved $9 billion in state funding for the plan. But, the vote against the plan means it won't get any help from the federal government.
Here is the full statement released by MDOT Public Affairs official Erin Henson:
“Today’s decision is a vote against easing congestion across the American Legion Bridge, one of the most significant bridges in the nation and largest traffic bottlenecks in the nation, jeopardizing a bi-partisan agreement across the Potomac. It’s a vote against providing reliable bus service across the American Legion Bridge. It’s a vote against transit funding from toll revenue for local jurisdictions. It’s a vote against connecting bike and pedestrian networks across the American Legion Bridge from Maryland and Virginia. It’s a vote against transportation choices. It’s a vote against Maryland’s economic recovery, infrastructure investment and the creation of thousands of jobs. It’s a vote against private investment that would unlock state and federal funding in the Transportation Trust Fund for projects across the state.
“Maryland is not prepared to give up on any of that, and will continue to work toward solutions that will provide congestion relief in the National Capital Region for today and for generations to come.”