Transurban finds firm to build I-495/I-270 toll lanes, but timing questions remain

After a nearly two-year search, the consortium tapped to spearhead an ambitious toll lanes project in Montgomery County has found itself a construction partner.

AM Partners, a conglomerate led by Transurban, announced on Wednesday that it has taken on Los Angeles-based Tutor Perini to design and build toll lanes along portions of the Capital Beltway and I-270. The project is a top priority for Gov. Larry Hogan (R), though it has roused opposition locally.

Early last year, the Transurban group outbid two other conglomerates, despite the loss of its original construction partner, Archer Western, which separated from AM Partners for reasons that have never been made public.

Northern Virginia has an extensive network of variably priced toll lanes, owned and operated by Transurban. Hogan, a real estate broker before seeking office, unveiled plans to add “express” lanes to some of Maryland’s most congested highways in 2017.

Last month, the Federal Highway Administration gave its blessing to Hogan’s “traffic relief plan.” That decision and the signing by AM Partners of Tutor Perini give the project momentum that has eluded it for some time.

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