Daily News Briefs, June 5, 2019

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State Comptroller Urged to Block Maryland Express Lanes Plan

The Baltimore Sun editorial board posts an open letter to Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, one of three members of the state board expected to vote today on the governor’s express lanes P3 proposal, writing, “Mr. Franchot, stop the runaway plan to let one or more private companies build and operate so-called ‘Lexus Lanes’ on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.”

Greater Greater Washington posts an op-ed by Stewart Schwartz, executive director and a founder of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, who follows suit, writing, “It’s time to stop the headlong rush into a bad decision and a bad deal. Tell Franchot to put the brakes on this project!”

Maryland Matters reports, “Two days out from a key vote on the Hogan administration’s controversial plan to widen two Washington, D.C.-area highways, opponents ratcheted up their pressure Monday on Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D), considered a swing vote on the influential Board of Public Works.”

Express Lanes Maryland Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) P3 & Privatization


Maine Turnpike Opens Fourth ORT Facility

WMTW reports, “The open road toll facility between the Maine Turnpike and Interstate 295 in Scarborough” — the state’s fourth — officially opened to traffic [yesterday] morning.”

A Maine Turnpike Authority news release notes, “The new toll is located just north of the former toll plaza and southerly of Exit 1 on I-295.  It includes four ORT lanes (two in each direction).  These provide E-ZPass customers the convenience of cruising through at highway speeds while sensors collect the toll electronically. Those who prefer to pay cash may do so safely by pulling to the right to pay at staffed toll booths.”

ETC Systems Maine Maine Turnpike Authority Open-Road Tolling


Construction of Colorado DOT's I-25 Express Lanes Enters New Phase

The Gazette reports, “A new chapter of construction on the Interstate 25 ‘Gap’ kicked off Monday with a 12-hour lane closure that began just as rush hour traffic was winding down. . . . By the end of June, the entire length of I-25 from Monument to Castle Rock will be under construction as crews add a toll lane in each direction, widening it from two to three lanes on each side. The 18-mile stretch, known as the Gap, will be the longest work zone in the state, said CDOT spokesman Bob Wilson.”

Colorado Colorado Department of Transportation Express Lanes


NTTA Toll Hike Will Help Fund $2 Billion in Capital Projects

Community Impact Newspaper reports, the North Texas Tollway Authority’s July 1 toll rate hike conforms to a biennial plan adopted by the agency’s board. An NTTA news release notes, “Regularly scheduled toll rate increases help NTTA pay its bills, including more than $9.25 billion in bonds issued to build area toll roads. . . . The agency is also investing nearly $2 billion in capital projects, including adding lanes to the Dallas North Tollway, President George Bush Turnpike and the Sam Rayburn Tollway.”

Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro Region (DFW) North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) Texas Toll Rate Changes