Potomacearthfirst’s Weblog

Inter County Connector News and update
July 1, 2008, 12:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
UPDATE Jan 21, 2009:
MD General Assembly now is session!
There are a number of bills to defund the ICC now in play!
If any of them pass, the ICC project will be ended.
The MD SHA now says construction on Contract B
will begin “in the spring” if MD manages to sell the bonds
to finance the work.
Obama stimulus package warning:
If President Obama’s stimulus package with
billions for highway construction and a pittance
for transit passes, stoping the ICC will become
more difficult.
Right now, MD cannoty afford projects other than
the ICC because of the Depression, giving hope of
cancelling the rest of the project in Annapolis.
If the stimulus package pays for all those OTHER
projects, suddenly the ICC is much less of a budger
crisis-and that chance to kill the project in Annapolis
will be lost.
NO to I-69, NO to the ICC, NO to ANY new
NFORCE(the Leisure World community activst group) is reporting that the $450M bond issue to pay for ICC Contract B(Ga Ave to Route 29 through Northwest Branch and paint Branch)
was been withdrawn!
Unknown what the implications of this will be. Economic conditions no doubt reponsible-but will this be enough to stop ICC construction beyond Contract A? Leisure World fears exactly this-and hopes to hold off Contract A opening until/unless Contract B opens, as making the “temporary” connection to Route 28 a permanant one will clod Rt 28. “cooincidentally,” the SHA has suddenly reopened the he MD 28 (Norbeck Road)/MD 198 Corridor Improvement Study. This includes widening Rt 28 east of Ga Ave to 4 lines, as would be “needed” to handle all that ICC traffic.
Of course, the EIS for the ICC never studied combining Contract A only with a Rt 28 widening, so a permanent connection is illegal unless a new EIS is filed.
This suggests a 2-step strategy to kill all of the ICC:

1: Get MD to cancel or indefinately delay Contracts B, C, and D in Annapolis this winter. Get them committed to this approach and to the “temporary” connection to Route 28.
2; Wait until the legislature is out of session, and only then file a legal challenge to finishing Contract A on grounds of the missing EIS. The ramps to 28 would be the subject of the challenge, but sucess could get a stop-work on all of Contract A (from the governor’s office presumably) on grounds of nothing left to connect it to on the east end. connect it

UPDATE SEP 14: ICC Contract D “delayed indefinately”
after state could not sell bonds for construction. Delay
in a Federal transportation package meant the bonds would
have had a poor rating.
A $100M  overrun on the bid for Contract B(Paint Branch) is
also to credit for this.
Contract D is connector/service roads at the ICC/ Route 95
(pro-ICC story about this:

Update Sep 7:
CONTRACT B(Paint Branch) construction could start THIS FALL!!!
The SHA awarded a contract for construction on Contract B
for $559M, a 20% increase over the $410-460M they hoped to spend.
This was NOT the low bid, and the losing bidders may challenge this award,
DELAYING CONSTRUCTION on Contract B IF this challenge is actually filed.

Site of Spring ICC protest devastated-and contractors trespass to build fence

The site of the April 26 “O’Malley’s March” wake for trees killed by the ICC has been devastated by ICC construction. Meanwhile, Inter-County Constructors is back in Cashell Estates-this time TRESPASSING on uncondemned private property to build a chain link fence!
According to this article
in this week’s Gazette Newspapers, the owner of one of the Cashell Estates properties went so far as to CALL THE COPS pn Inter County Constructors. The cops, of course, claimed the fence construction was LEGAL and came up with some sort of documents to the effect, but the owners had never seen them before. Legal action may well result.
Inter County Constructors is still bogged down building the Redland Road Underpass
I-69: It’s like 100 ICC’s
strung end to end if the Enemy can ever build it all…
Youtube video: Funk I-69 protesters try to storm Washington Post
The Washington Post supports NAFTA, I-69-and is a major supporter of the ICC. Without their cheerleading all three of these would have been doubtful!
Famous ICC Big Tree in danger
Forest to be sacrificed to save Brooke Manor Country Club
Exercise Trail
This forest will fall to save Brooke Manor
Country Club’s exercise trail!
The exercise trail-nice,but it’s not a forest
An ICC construction access road is being built in the old clearcut behind the Ga Ave staging area.Similar paved access roads are being built into the woods from Needwood road facing Rock Creek and east from Emory Lane. All three relate to planned bridges over these areas.

The highway from Emory Lane to Ga Ave, though a wide enough old clearcut exists to accomodate it,will be half in the field and half in the woods!This is because its location is constrained by Brook Manor country club’s private exercise trail. Shifting the road a few yards north would save the forest at the expense of the trail. Gee-this sure is different than the decision to sacrifice CASHELL ESTATES in a failed bid to save Mill Creek!

In Cashell Estates, families lost their homes to a rerouting of the ICC and attempt to save Mill Creek.the attempt failed,and Mill Creek is a silt-laden,culverted mudhole today.

If the ICC behind Sycamore Acres was shifted just a few yards north, it would move the highway out of a magnificant oak forest behind people houses.The price would be that Brook Manor Country Club would lose an execrise trail and some fields. Some trees would still be cut,but far,far fewer than on the current route.

Oh Well-I guess Brook Manor Country Club has a lot more clout than Cashell Estates!


Update July 29:
The SHA has just released the latest ICC newsletter. In it they say they intend to focus on building bridges(such as the one over Rock Creek and one over Emory Lane, plus two more) this summer and fall. As of now they are building gravel access roads into the woods from Emory Lane(facing North Branch) and from Needwood Road-facing Rock Creek.
*UPDATE July 23: Konterra/Gould offices found in DC!
Here is the list of Gould/ICC related addresses in DC:
2 in 1725 Desales st NW
1111 19th st NW
1324 G st NW
Gould Property and an office of Parking Management (PMI) are both in 1725 Desales st NW. The other two are buildings owned by Gould interests.
Gould Property Co Inc is at: Local (202) 463-7395 1725 Desales St NW Ste 900
PMI is at 1725 DeSales Street
Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036  Telephone: 202-785-9191
this DC Indymedia story links to a pdf listing Gould/Konterra campaign cash-and a map to 1725 DeSales st :
NO cutting yet at Needwood-but for how long?UPDATE July 17

NO cutting yet at Needwood-but for how long?

A Potomac Earth First operative dropped by Needwood Road to see how much damage the “flagging operation” caused-but found that nothing seems to have happened yet at Needwood Road>
*(UPDATE AUGUST 27-access road being built through field to reach woods on far side, then cut in to start bridgework over ROCK CREEK MAIN STEM!!!)
(UPDATE Sep 14: a dirt access road has reached the hill on the East side of Rock Creek,
but not any construction beyond that. As of now, focus seems to be on Needwood Road


Roadside strip of trees has been removed-expect same at Needwood Road Fri!

Roadside strip of trees has been removed-expect same at Needwood Road Fri!

The ICC’s radio station(1670 AM local) announced a “flagging operation” or lane closures  at Emory Lane Tuesday morning, July 15. For Friday morning, July 17 the same announcement has been made for Needwood Road. Since staging area faces away from Rock Creek, they are preparing to clearcut towards Rock Creek’s main stem. They could easily be there in one month.

******** END UPDATES***************************

*************BACKGROUND ON THE ICC************************

The Inter-County connector is an 18 mile “Lexus Lane” toll highway intended to link I-270 near Gaithersburd with Route 1 beyond I-95 somewhat north of College Park. Why extend it to Route 1? Because Kingman Gould III, owner of the Konterra mega-development, gave $60K to former MD Governor Erlich and previous politicians for generations to approve the road.

The road is under construction NOW, with the first “Contract A” segment from I-270 to Ga Ave planned to open in 2010. As of July 13, nearly a dozen homes have already been demolished in Cashell Estates(off Redland Road) and Mill Creek(tributary of Rock Creek) is now buried alive under tons of silt and many culverts. Now construction from the Ga Ave staging area is expanding, with the forest having been cut for the Ga Ave interchange on the East side, facing a planned “temporary” connection to Norbeck Rd, and via it to Route 198.

Culvert between Shady Grove and Redland Road

Culvert between Shady Grove and Redland Road

This culvert used to be a Mill Creek tributary-and Mill Creek used to be the largest wetland complex in thiat part of Maryland. NOT ANY MORE thanks to the ICC!

Smashed home in Cashell Estates

Smashed home in Cashell EstatesUPDATE July 17

This used to be a family home in Cashell estates with a wonderful view of the now-doomed forest

An internal study found that skyrocketing oil prices have more than doubled construction costs, estimated three years ago as $2 billion before financing, $3B with. The new estimate is not getting covered in pro-ICC newspapers, but states that higher prices for asphalt and other materials have pushed construction costs before financing to an estimated $4 billion, maybe $4.5 billion. That would bean $6-7B with financing-and MD only sold bonds to finance the $2B expected cost!

It is being predicted that this may well cause the ICC beyond Ga Ave to be cancelled, turning the temporary connection to Norbeck Rd into a permanent one-and converting the ICC approximtely into the 1997 study’s “Midcounty Highway-md198 alternative.”

Anything that increases costs or delays completion of Contract A increases the likelihood of this event, which would protect Paint Branch and the other tributaries of the Anacostia River. To protect Rock Creek(and restore Mill Creek) is also possible if the appeal to the failed Audubon Society lawsuit is sucessful-or the debate is seriously reopened before much further damage can occur.

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