Proposed Beltway Expansion

Focus on: Beltway Expansion (I-495 and I-270)

Update Spring 2024: A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit against the I-495/I-270 toll lanes filed by the MD Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council and others. The lawsuit against the MD Dept. of Transportation (MDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration charged that the environmental review of the project failed to meet several federal requirements. The groups who brought the lawsuit are reviewing the decision and considering their options. Earlier this year, the US Dept. of Transportation rejected MDOT’s application for federal grants to fund the construction of the toll lanes. While MDOT will reapply for these grants, the full funding sought represents a significant share of the federal grant budget for highway construction for the entire country.

Update Nov 9, 2020: On behalf of fifty groups, including FOSC, the Maryland Sierra Club and Rock Creek Conservancy submitted a 200+ page document of technical and legal comments on the proposed Beltway Expansion to Governor Hogan. These comments are based on analyses by multiple experts and consultants with input from affected communities. Read the press release.

Next Steps: The deadline for comments and testimony on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was extended to November 9, 2020. Read the DEIS, submit your testimony in writing, or by voicemail on September 10 from noon to 9 p.m. at 855-432-1483 (press * to hear options), or in person on Sept 10 from noon to 9 p.m. by appointment only at the Hilton Executive Meeting Center, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, in Montgomery County. Call 833-858-5960 to make an appointment. The CABE website provides helpful links.

Update Aug 2020: FOSC testified on August 25 with other groups on the deficiencies of the DEIS. FOSC concerns focus on stormwater and air quality impacts on the County in addition to the direct effects on Sligo Creek Park. See a copy of FOSC testimony on the Letters and Testimony page.

Update July 2020: As required, the state has issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is 18,000 pages including attachments. The Montgomery County Planning Board (MNCPPC) testified July 15 with strong concerns about the DEIS, submitting 63 pages of written testimony.

Background: For years Governor Hogan and the state DOT have pursued adding toll lanes to Interstate 270 and 495. MNCPPC owns the land and has provided residents with significant information not otherwise available. The current proposals under consideration include no status quo or mass transit alternatives.