Gov. Larry Hogan and the U.S. Department of the Interior have reached a deal to explore transferring ownership of the Maryland portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from the federal government to the state.
The Hogan administration has sought to add express toll lanes to the thoroughfare running from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. as part of a $9 billion Traffic Relief Plan, first announced in September 2017. Under the proposal, the Capital Beltway (I-495) and I-270, running from the northwest corner of the Capital Beltway to Frederick, would also be expanded.
If a transfer goes through, the Maryland Transportation Authority would then construct the new lanes and maintain the parkway.
Giving control of the parkway to the state also opens the door for two high-speed mass transit projects, the Maglev and Elon Musk’s planned Hyperloop, both of which have plotted routes in close proximity to the highway.
Hogan championed the former and gave approval for preliminary tests of the latter, an experimental tunneling technology developed by Musk’s Boring Company. But his statement with the announcement of today’s deal focused on the “plan to relieve traffic congestion for our region.”
The federal government appears ready to move on from the 29-mile road, which is maintained by the National Park Service. An infrastructure plan released by President Donald Trump in February called for selling the highway.