MTBMA Executive Director Michael Sakata, right, testified at the hearing.
By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA
The three-member Maryland Board of Public Works June 5 supported a major Interstate 270/Interstate 495 widening project on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. The public-private partnership (P3) aims to build and operate toll lanes, add road capacity and ease traffic-congestion.
“The transportation construction industry is ready, able and eager to help alleviate the strain on Maryland drivers and MTBMA members stand ready to supply the workforce and materials necessary to get Marylanders moving again,” Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association Executive Director Michael Sakata testified at the hearing. MTBMA is ARTBA’s Maryland state chapter.
The Washington Post’s editorial board said the 2-1 vote in favor of moving forward on the bidding process for the project was “the right call,” noting it will improve the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of commuters and should not be derailed. “Opposing road improvements is a head-in-the-sand approach to transportation and the daily lives of commuters,” the Post wrote.
The decision—approved by Gov. Larry Hogan, ( R) and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), with Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D) against—begins an expedited process for contractors to design proposals. It also adjusts the schedule to give state officials more time address local concerns in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.