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What Is the I-270 from I-370 to I-70 Pre-NEPA?

The I-270 from I-370 to I-70 pre-NEPA is evaluating congestion relief improvements on I-270 between I-370 in Montgomery County and I-70 in Frederick County.

Why Do We Need the Study?

Traffic congestion along the I-270 Corridor is among the worst in the nation. Under Governor Hogan’s Traffic Relief Plan, it is time for innovative solutions to the region’s congestion. Congestion has hit a saturation point, traffic is now spilling over onto local roads, and peak travel hours are growing longer and longer. Traffic congestion degrades quality of life and impedes the region’s economic growth.

Congestion will continue to worsen if nothing is done. The population in Montgomery and Frederick counties is expected to grow 18% and 35% respectively by 2040. In 2018, the Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) on I-270 from Watkins Mill Road to I-370 was 180,000 vehicles a day, and that number is expected to increase to 210,000 by 2040. South of Frederick, between I-70 and MD 121, the AADT on I-270 was 94,000 vehicles per day in 2018, which is projected to grow to 111,000 in 2040.

What Activities Will Occur During Pre-NEPA?

Currently, MDOT SHA is conducting pre-NEPA planning activities that include:

  • identifying the project’s purpose and need;
  • developing a range of alternatives;
  • reviewing the existing and future traffic volumes, and existing environmental conditions;
  • engaging the public in pre-NEPA planning activities.

Decisions from these early activities will be applied toward the eventual NEPA environmental review process.

NEW I-270_Study_P3_Program_map_2019_7_31

Public Involvement

MDOT SHA will solicit public input during the pre-NEPA activities on the purpose and need for the future NEPA study, as well as the preliminary range of alternatives. Click here to learn the dates and locations of Public Workshops being held in November 2019. You may provide your comments online, by email, by phone, or through the U.S. Mail. Click here to submit your question or comment electronically or to sign up to be notified of future meetings and upcoming events.

What is NEPA?

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) is a federal environmental law that established processes to evaluate the needs and benefits of a federal action and the potential environmental impacts arising from the action. The law requires development of a reasonable range of project alternatives that can accomplish the purpose and need, and consideration of potential impacts to socioeconomic, cultural, and natural resources from the alternatives being considered. Key to this process is coordination among federal, state, and local agencies, and communication with the public, and other project stakeholders.