The Intercounty Connector is months behind schedule due to rainy weather last year and this winter's record snowfalls. But officials say they still plan to open the first 7.2-mile segment of the 18.8-mile, $2.56 billion toll highway this fall.
Officials say the ground has been too wet for paving and dirt-moving work they planned to complete last year.
ICC Project Director Melinda Peters says contractors working on the first segment between in Gaithersburg and Georgia Avenue in northern Silver Spring could add crews and lengthen workdays to make up for lost time in the spring and summer.
"We're not, overall, where we want to be, especially on Contract A," Peters told the Washington Post. Contract A includes Interstate 270 and Interstate 370 in Gaithersburg to MD 97/Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.
The rest of the highway is scheduled to open by early 2012.
Pete Temple, project manager for the western segment, says last year was one of the worst for weather-related delays in his 25-year construction career.
"It's a day here and there" of lost work, Temple told the Post. "When you add it all up, it's suddenly months."