Gov. Hogan Plans to Widen Maryland Highways


WTOP/Kate Ryan

Governor Hogan announcing the new road extension plan.

Jordan Doss, Alum

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has recently announced plans for the widening of I-270, I-495, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. These new lanes will be constructed to have new express toll booths, and will also provide more connecting routes in an attempt to help alleviate some of the heavy traffic on these roads.

Many commuters who take these roads have been complaining for years about the traffic build up that surfaces during certain hours, and widening these roads should assist in lowering the daily impact that the traffic flow has.

Although convenient for assisting in traffic reduction, this plan may cost up to $9 billion to plan and construct; however, the money will not be coming from Maryland taxpayers. Hogan expects that private companies will invest in the new roads and construction, which can cover the necessary expenses that may arise.

“He’s hoping that the funds will come from a proposed introspector bill, and he wants a public source of money too from businesses or the department of transportation. That is going to be very tricky though, because he can’t know what the businesses will want out of these agreements, and he doesn’t know if all of this will cover the full extent of the expenses anyway,” social studies teacher Michael Hunt said.

This construction may eventually help with traffic, although in the meantime, it could worsen commuting conditions once the construction begins. The new roads could prove to hinder the regular usage and pace of the old roads, thus having potential to cause issues in travelling. In addition to this, it is unknown whether or not these roads could harm the environment that is currently surrounding the roads already there.

“I think that there will be a lot of debates in regards to the allocations of land and expansion,” Hunt said.

Multiple positions and arguments that can be made about this decision.  

“There are both positives and negatives to the discussion, and I’m not sure which outrank the others,” social studies teacher Steven Watson said.

At the earliest, the construction would begin in 1.5 years, giving Hogan and all of those involved, plenty of time to make decisions and work through all of the possible problems that might surface along the way.