As of March 7th, the free ride on the ICC comes to an unfortunate end. The new toll rates are included in this fact sheet from the Maryland Transportation Authority, the agency now operating the InterCounty Connector. Also included is information on EZ-Pass, clearly something you’ll want to do if you plan to use the ICC regularly.
Much discussion has taken place in recent years about the pricing of the tolls, which is higher than many would like. While the rates are higher than many older toll facilities that long-ago paid off all their construction costs, if it is any comfort, they are in line with other new toll facilities in terms of the cost per mile. State officials are saying the adjustable rates on the ICC will be changed up or down depending on how many people are using it, in order to maximize revenue and divert as many motorists as possible off surrounding streets. We won’t really know the real impact until the whole facility is open, of course.
Though some continue to whine about the fact that there are tolls, I continue to see very little in the way of honesty or ownership regarding whose fault that really is. Some of the blame clearly lies at the feet of those who blocked the road for so many years — and the politicians who dared not cross them — despite the lack of any viable alternative. Had the ICC had been built when it was planned (around 1980), it would have saved Maryland taxpayers around $2 billion and would not have required ANY tolls. The big lesson here: Delay is expensive. Now we have to pay for it.