Plans to build the Intercounty Connector (ICC) were approved by the Federal Highway Association (FHWA), marking what Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, Jr. is hailing as the project’s “most important milestone yet.”

The 18-mile, six-lane toll road will link Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. It is expected to be a state-of-the-art highway, with variable tolls designed to manage traffic flow and reduce congestion.

Estimated to cost roughly $2.4 billion, the project will be financed through the issuance of revenue bonds, monies from the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund, and federal funds.

A study conducted by the University of Maryland predicts that the benefits to the state, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties will include not only alleviation of traffic congestion, but also greater safety of area roadways, and the creation of more than 14,00 jobs.