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 Esther Bowring, Community Relations Manager   240.777.6513
 Office of the Director

 First Segment of ICC May Be Ready by late 2010


WTOP is reporting that the InterCounty Connector will soon be open for business.  And while it won't be the entire 18.8-mile Maryland highway -- the first 5.5 mile segment between the I-270/370 corridor and Georgia Avenue could soon see its first action in the coming months.

"We are hoping that we will be able to open it either the end of this year, or the very first part of next year," Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverly Swaim Staley told the radio station.

The ICC is being built in five segments, with one segment opening after the next.  When it's fully complete, the road with be a six-lane, tolled highway that will connect Gaithersburg to Laurel.

State transportation leaders promise it will deliver a speedy commute for those who use it.  For example, the Maryland Department of Transportation says the trip from Gaithersburg to Georgia Avenue would take 23 minutes using local roads, but just seven minutes using the ICC.  Gaithersburg to BWI Marshall Airport would take 71 minutes using local roads, but just 37 minutes using the ICC.

Tolls on the ICC will be collected electronically with E-Z Pass.  However, there will be no toll booths -- just overhead transponders that will apply the charge.  The idea behind "open road tolling" is to keep traffic moving without slowing down.  If a driver decides to use the ICC but does not have an E-Z Pass, a bill for the price of the toll -- along with a $3 service fee -- will be mailed to the driver.  The Transportation Authority says that is the same policy that is in place at other toll facilities in the state.  The toll for the first 5.5 segment of the ICC is expected to cost $1.45 during peak hours, $1.15 off-peak and 60-cents during overnight hours.  The peak travel period is between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays.

(Copyright 2010 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

For more information on State road projects, visit the MDOT website.