***TRAFFIC ALERT*** I-270 RAMP METER TESTING BEGINS AS PART OF INNOVATIVE CONGESTION MANAGEMENT PROJECT

I-270 sign

I-270 sign)

(June 14, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is expected to activate and test a new ramp metering system on the ramp from northbound MD 118 to southbound I-270, in the Germantown area of Montgomery County on Wednesday, June 23. This will be the first location activated in the new ramp metering system that will eventually include 22 northbound and 23 southbound I-270 ramps.

This single location will be activated as a flashing yellow signal on or about June 16, before becoming fully operational on June 23. MDOT SHA is testing the system at this single location for one week and will then deactivate it until the entire southbound I-270 ramp metering system is activated later this year. The northbound I-270 ramp metering system is expected to be activated in 2022.

Ramp metering is a part of the I-270 Innovative Congestion Management (ICM) project designed to help reduce congestion on this busy interstate. The system uses sensors that detect real-time traffic conditions and activate traffic signals, when needed, to more efficiently control how traffic merges onto I-270. This will allow motorists to merge safely onto I-270 while minimizing delay and reducing congestion.

When ramp metering is in operation:

  1. Motorists will see a warning sign with flashing beacons.
  2. When the beacons are activated, motorists should be prepared to stop at the stop line.
  3. Once the signal turns green, drivers may proceed on the ramp and merge onto the highway.
  4. The signal will allow one car at a time to go from each lane, optimizing traffic flow onto I-270.

The ramp metering signals will have the capability to operate between 4 a.m. and 11 p.m. daily and are anticipated to be active during peak-traffic hours and when congestion is present on I-270. For more information and to view a map and ramp metering visualization video click HERE.

While a first for Maryland, ramp meters have been used elsewhere and are a proven, cost-effective tool to help address congestion and safety by regulating traffic flow onto the highway. Ramp metering is one element of the I-270 ICM Project that Governor Larry Hogan announced in 2016 to provide congestion and improve travel times throughout the 34.4-mile I-270 corridor from I-70 to I-495. Other elements include additional auxiliary lanes between interchanges; extension of acceleration and deceleration lanes and reconfiguration and restriping of existing lanes to optimize traffic operations.

The I-270 ICM Project is separate from the Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Relief Plan, which proposes to replace the 60-year-old American Legion Bridge and provide two managed High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes from the bridge to I-270, and north on I-270 to I-370. While separate, the two initiatives would work in tandem as part of a multi-faceted traffic relief approach for the region. The I-270 ICM Project provides congestion relief and travel time savings along the I-270 corridor The Phase 1 South: American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 Relief Plan offers a public-private partnership to replace the aging bridge and provide new opportunities for transit and ridesharing, bike/pedestrian connections as well as congestion relief for the National Capital region.

MDOT SHA works hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones for our crews as well as our customers. Drivers need to stay alert, focus on driving and, look for reduced speed limits, as well as other driving pattern changes. Please drive like you work here and slow down in construction zones.

For a list of all major MDOT SHA projects, go to Project Portal. Visit our homepage at roads.maryland.gov. For a look at real-time traffic conditions, go to md511.maryland.gov.

MDOT SHA officials will be able to speak with the media about the new system on Tuesday, June 15, between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. If interested in a virtual interview within this time frame, please send an email to SHAmedia@mdot.maryland.gov.

Editor’s Note

From intersection improvements to widening and new interchange construction, MDOT SHA is investing in projects to enhance the commute and daily travel for millions of Marylanders.  MDOT SHA maintains more than 2,500 bridges and 17,000 miles of non-toll state roads – the interstate, US and state numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties.

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