FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 10, 2013
Contact: John Sales
ICC REACHES TWO-YEAR MILESTONE NEXT MONTH
MDTA Annual Financial Statement Now Available Online;
ICC Revenue on Target with Projections
BALTIMORE, MD – As the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 approaches its two-year anniversary since opening to I-95, traffic volumes on the ICC/MD 200 are growing at an average rate of 2.6 percent per month, according to the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA).
“The ICC was designed to accommodate expected traffic capacity in 2030 and to provide relatively congestion-free travel with reliable travel times today and for years to come,” said Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman James T. Smith, Jr. “Even though the ICC is still in a ‘ramping up’ period in these early years of operation, average weekday traffic volumes for the ICC have grown approximately 75 percent since opening to I-95, and this year we confirmed the significant travel-time savings with the ICC in a study released in June.”
Between July 2012 and June 2013, more than 17.2 million trips were made on MD 200 with total revenue of $39.59 million, as compared to the projected $39.56 million, according to MDTA’s just-released audited financial data for fiscal year 2013.
“In September, the average weekday traffic on the ICC approached 40,000 vehicles daily,” said MDTA Acting Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner. “Traffic is slightly lower than projected on the eastern end, and it is significantly higher than projected at the western end connecting to the I-270 business corridor. We are finding that drivers are making longer trips on the ICC than originally estimated, with more trips being made in the longer western segments.”
Following months of careful deliberation and a detailed engineering study and crash analysis, the MDTA raised the ICC speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph in late March. The MDTA anticipates that drivers traveling the ICC from end to end may save approximately 1 ½ minutes of travel time with the speed increase.
In June, the MDTA and Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) released the ICC Before and After Traffic Study. The study concludes that ICC drivers have cut their travel times in half when compared to travel on local east-west routes. In addition, motorists traveling local routes during peak hours have experienced a five to 11 percent reduction in travel times, compared to before the ICC opened. The study confirms that the ICC is saving time, increasing reliability and reducing delays for those traveling between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
In July, the MDTA released another study analyzing the effects of reducing all ICC toll rates by 25%, 33% and 50%; reducing only off-peak tolls by 50%; and reducing only overnight tolls by 50%. In each case, while the amount of traffic increases, the reduced toll rates lead to a decrease in revenue despite the traffic growth.
Construction activity is progressing on the fourth and final contract of the ICC, which includes building collector-distributor lanes along I-95 between the ICC and MD 198 and extending the ICC from its current terminus at I-95 to US 1. This final ICC segment is scheduled to open to traffic in spring 2014.