The go ahead has been given by the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for the project to widen a stretch of the US Capital Beltway. The plan is now for two tolled lanes to be added to the route in either direction in a bid to tackle the severe congestion that occurs at peak periods.
In addition, widening of Interstate 270 has also been given the go ahead by the FHWA while the American Legion Bridge will also be replaced.
The work is expected to cost as much as US$6 billion, although this is considerably less than the earlier $9 billion proposal that was heavily criticised on environmental grounds. The work will be handled as a 50-year concession package under the design, build and manage model as a PPP.
The Capital Beltway, I-495, is around 103km in length and runs around the US capital. The Capital Beltway would be widened between the Virginia border and the spur for I-270 to the north west of Washington DC. Meanwhile, I-270 would be widened between the junction with I-495 and I-370.