The Intercounty Connector is not helping the Maryland Transportation Authority make ends meet. In fact, the MTA is essentially flat broke following the opening of the 18.8-mile corridor that came with a price tag of $2.56 billion. The MTA’s debt capacity carries a zero value, and the agency already showed signs of distress when it decided to raise tolls on all facilities earlier this year.
“You’re probably looking at another 20 years before we see another major road like this be built,” Lon Anderson, spokesman for the AAA Mid-Atlantic, told the Washington Post.
The MTA, which also spent $1 billion on express toll lanes for I-95, a vital connecting point on the ICC, is banking on a flood of motorists using the new six-lane route at $4 a pop over the next several decades and the economic jolt it could provide to area businesses. The final bond payment for the ICC and I-95 express lanes is expected to be made between 2041 and 2046, and many are wondering how much new construction will take place on Maryland roads over the next 30 years. The MTA also will be using federal funds to pay off the debt left by the ICC. Approximately $138 million worth must be backed by federal dollars through FY 2020.
“In terms of increasing capacity, we are at a standstill for roads, transit, anything,” Warren Deschenaux, director of Maryland’s Office of Policy Analysis, told the Post.