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General FAQ

Questions and Answers

What is the ICC?

  • An 18-mile, controlled access, tolled highway (16 miles in Montgomery County, 2 miles in Prince George's County) which will link existing and proposed activity centers on the I-270 and I-95/US 1 corridors.

How will I access the ICC?

  • 8 Interchanges will provide efficient and safe access at:
    • MD 355 (Frederick Road)
    • Shady Grove Metro Station access road
    • MD 97 (Georgia Avenue)
    • MD 182 (Layhill Road)
    • MD 650 (New Hampshire Avenue)
    • US 29 (Columbia Pike/Briggs Chaney Road)
    • Interstate 95
    • Virginia Manor Road
    • At its eastern terminus, the ICC will meet US 1 at an at-grade intersection.

How will the ICC be built?

  • The ICC will be built in five different Design-Build contracts:
    • Contract A: I-270/370 to MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) OPEN TO TRAFFIC;
    • Contract B: MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) to US 29 (Columbia Pike/Briggs Chaney Road) OPEN TO TRAFFIC;
    • Contract C: US 29 (Columbia Pike/Briggs Chaney Road) to I-95 and collector-distributor lanes along I-95 south of the ICC OPEN TO TRAFFIC;
    • Contract D/E: Collector-distributor lanes along I-95 north of the ICC and I-95 to US 1.

What will the sequence of construction be?

  • Contract A – C – B – D/E

When will the ICC construction begin in my area?

  • The first contract of the ICC, Contract A, started construction in 2007 and Contract B and C followed after. As of November 2011, Contracts A-C opened to traffic.
  • Contract D/E of the ICC is expected to begin construction mid 2012 and is expected to be complete by late summer/early fall 2014.

How can I stay involved with the ICC?

  • Contact the Community Liaison for the Contract area you are interested in
  • Attend the Open Hours for the Contract area you are interested in
  • Request a meeting with the project team
  • Periodically check the interactive project website for project information
  • Contact the project team at our toll-free information line 866-462-0020.
  • Review our bi-annual project newsletter
  • Review our quarterly contract-specific construction updates (Contract A, Contract B and Contract C updates are currently available)

How much will the ICC cost?

  • The cost estimate for the project is $2.566 billion.

How will the ICC be funded?

  • The project is being funded by the following sources:
    • Maryland Transportation Authority funding (approximately $1.23 billion);
    • GARVEE bonds ($750 million);
    • Maryland Transportation Trust Fund ($180 million);
    • Maryland General Fund ($265 million):
    • Special federal funding (approximately $19 million); and
    • Additional funds from the GARVEE sale ($17 million).
    • The balance of funding ($103 million), which is not required until FY2015 through FY2017, will be identified as it enters into the fiscally constrained Consolidated Transportation Program.
  • The finance plan was endorsed by the Maryland General Assembly through enactment of bills in the 2005 session.
  • The ICC funding plan enables maximum funding for other Maryland transportation priorities by relying on the Transportation Trust Fund for less than eight percent of the total cost.

How will the ICC affect mobility?

  • As compared with not building the highway, the ICC will:
    • Enable the safe and efficient travel of an additional 85,000 vehicles;
    • Reduce travel times dramatically: Every weekday morning, the ICC will save travelers a collective 3,000 hours;
    • Provide more than a 10 percent reduction in average weekday traffic on more than 40 miles of main east-west roads in the ICC corridor (though north-south roads will experience an increase due to travelers seeking access to the ICC); and
    • Reduce hours of congestion by 25 percent at 29 extremely congested intersections.

Will the ICC relieve traffic on major highways such as the Capital Beltway, I-95 or I-270?

  • Along its 18-mile length, the ICC is located between 4 and 8 miles north of the Capital Beltway and is not designed or intended to relieve congestion on the Beltway, I-95 or I-270.
  • The ICC is designed to improve mobility and safety in the ICC corridor area between I-270 in Montgomery and I-95 in Prince George's County.
  • By linking these growth corridors, the ICC will reduce cross-county traffic that currently overburdens hilly, two-lane east-west roads

How will congestion be avoided on the ICC?

  • Tolls will be utilized as a mechanism for managing congestion along the ICC.
  • Toll rates will be lower during non-peak periods to encourage users to use the roadway during these times of day.

Will there be toll booths on the ICC?

  • Tolls will be collected at highway speeds using electronic toll collection. As drivers enter or leave the ICC, antennas will automatically read their vehicle-mounted "EZ Pass" transponders, drawing on their prepaid account for the cost of each trip.
  • Drivers without an EZ Pass will receive a bill in the mail, plus a processing fee.
  • Toll rates can be viewed at, mdta.maryland.gov/TollFacilities/ICC.html.

The ICC will connect to I-270 via the existing I-370. Will the I-370 freeway be tolled when the ICC opens?

  • No. Existing I-370 and the connection to the Shady Grove metro station from I-270 will not be tolled. The toll will begin east of the Metro Access interchange.

What about transit?

  • Providing better transit service to Montgomery and Prince George's county residents and businesses is an integral part of the ICC project.
  • The ICC will spur 4,400 new express bus trips as compared with not building the ICC.
  • Express bus service using the ICC's congestion-free managed lanes will provide major time savings to the 11,500 people a day who are projected to use the service.
  • The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), is in the planning stages for two major transit projects in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties:
    • The fourteen-mile Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT) extends from Shady Grove METRO Station at the north end of Metrorail's Red Line through Germantown to Clarksburg.
    • The fourteen-mile Purple Line would provide direct connections between the two branches of the Metrorail Red Line as well as the Green and Orange Lines.
    • Transit projects such as the proposed Purple Line and CCT serve a different purpose and need from the ICC and are being studied independently.

What about bicyclists and walkers?

  • The ICC will improve cyclists' travel along the entire ICC area by:
    • Building more than 11 miles of bike/pedestrian trails;
    • Reconstructing another 3 miles; and
    • Linking to 12 existing and 7 planned trails.
    • ICC bike plan

How will the ICC affect safety?

  • The ICC will reduce the current ongoing conflict between neighborhood traffic and cross-county truck and commuter travel on twisting, two-lane roads.
  • Based on real-world experiences with comparable roads, ICC travelers will benefit from a three-quarters reduction in crash rates as compared with what is projected in the ICC corridor if the ICC is not built.
  • Specifically, 195 crashes per 100 million miles traveled are projected on existing cross-county roads versus 50 crashes per 100 million miles traveled on the ICC.

What effect will the ICC have on the economy?

  • An independent study conducted by the University of Maryland estimated:
    • The ICC will save Maryland drivers and businesses an estimated $6.7 billion from 2010 to 2030 that otherwise would be lost to wasted time and fuel and additional wear-and-tear on vehicles.
    • The highway will result in the creation of 14,000 jobs.
  • By reducing congestion, employers will be better able to recruit and retain employees and businesses will be better able to service clients and move goods.

How will the environment be protected?

  • Sustained coordination conducted during 37 joint agency meetings of 16 federal, state and local agencies resulted in a $370 million mitigation and stewardship package — more than 15 percent of the ICC's total cost.
  • Approved by regulatory agencies that are responsible for protecting the environment, the mitigation package fully compensates for unavoidable impacts to the natural and human environment.
  • Environmental protections include:
    • Techniques such as longer bridge lengths and a narrower footprint in sensitive areas will reduce impacts to streams, wetlands, and forests;
    • State-of-the-art stormwater controls, which will exceed regulatory requirements, dissipate temperatures, remove pollution, and facilitate steady baseflows will keep stream water quality and habitat in good condition;
    • A lower highway profile, sound barriers, and other community enhancements will reduce noise and visual impacts on adjacent neighborhoods;
    • More than 20,000 linear feet of streams will be restored, benefiting Rock Creek, Northwest Branch, Indian Creek, and Paint Branch;
    • Forty-four new bridges and culverts will provide safe passage for deer and small mammals;
    • Over 700 acres of land will be reforested; and,
    • Over 700 acres of land will be preserved and turned into parkland. Some of the parkland will be for active recreation, and most will become natural park areas.

What is Environmental and Community Stewardship?

  • A hallmark of the ICC is going above and beyond what is required to mitigate for the project's impacts on the natural and human environments.
  • The ICC project will fund more than 60 Environmental Stewardship projects to correct environmental problems caused by decades of past development in Montgomery and Prince George's counties - problems that are unrelated to the ICC itself.
  • Absent the ICC, these environmental challenges would remain unaddressed until other funding could be identified.
  • Environmental Stewardship projects primarily will address watershed concerns by restoring stream beds and retrofitting inadequate stormwater management systems
  • Community Stewardship projects include building bike paths, sidewalks and renovating historic buildings.

What safeguards will ensure the environment is protected?

  • A series of redundant oversight measures will ensure avoidance, minimization and mitigation of environmental resources, such as streams and wetlands, as well as full implementation of the Environmental Stewardship program
  • The failsafe environmental program includes the following:
    • An Environmental Design Review Team;
    • An Environmental Construction Inspection Team;
    • A Mitigation/Stewardship Team;
    • An Environmental Oversight Memorandum of Understanding; and
    • A detailed and sophisticated Compliance Database to track a myriad of permit conditions.
  • Additionally, an Independent Environmental Monitor will report directly to regulatory agencies that are responsible for ensuring environmental protection, not through the Maryland State Highway Administration

Why did Maryland join in the lawsuit defense?

  • Governor Martin O'Malley is committed to building the ICC.
  • His commitment was underscored in early 2007 when the State of Maryland petitioned the U.S. District Court for Maryland in be allowed to join the legal defense of the ICC project in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the study process.
  • Initially, the state was not named in the suit by the plaintiffs.
  • In February, the federal court granted the petition, enabling the state to join in the defense of the ICC project.
  • By occupying a seat at the defense table, the state is best positioned to protect Maryland's interests as the issue is resolved.

How will the ICC affect air quality in the region?

  • As required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, a local air quality analysis was prepared for the ICC study.
  • The analysis was undertaken in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Highway Administration and Maryland State Highway Administration guidelines to protect public health, including the health of sensitive populations such as asthmatics, children and the elderly.
  • The local air quality analysis shows the ICC will not cause nor contribute to violations of federal clean air standards.
  • The ICC is included in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments transportation plan, which must conform with federal clean air standards.

What about soot (or particle) pollution?

  • An analysis of fine particle pollution (particulate matter 2.5 microns, or PM 2.5) was included in the project level air quality conformity determination.
  • The analysis demonstrates the ICC will not cause nor contribute to new violations of the PM 2.5 federal air quality standard, which went into effect in 2006, nor will it increase the frequency or severity of violations that may occur independent of the ICC.

Connecting with Property Owners and Relocation Assistance(PORA)
Connecting with Community Stewardship (CS)
Connecting with Natural Environment (ENV)
Connecting with Design Built (DB)

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