Many decades in the making, the Inter County Connector toll road has finally arrived. On February 22, the first cars will be speeding between Shady Grove and Rockville.
Ok, so how do you pay the toll?
The ICC is being touted as Maryland's first all-electronic toll road - that means no tollbooths. Vehicles will be able to maintain highway speeds without having to slow down to pay. Sensors will detect the EZ-Pass in passing cars and automatically deduct money from the drivers' account.
The first week that the highway is open, no tolls will be levied, so that drivers get a chance to get used to the road. But after that, if vehicles are not carrying an EZ-Pass, their license plate will be recorded and the toll will be sent to their house. After the first month of operation, Maryland transportation officials will add a $3 processing fee on top of the toll.
But if you don't already have an EZ-Pass, fear not. There are three simple (and EZ) ways to get a tag.
-From a retail store: You can buy a transponder with $25 of credit on it for $46 at some Giant and Mars supermarkets. Participating locations here.
- At an EZ-Pass stop-in center. The EZ-Pass Maryland website has a list of centers with operating hours.
- Sign up online and have a pass mailed to you.
For non-commercial drivers who select a standard plan, you'll be able to use your Maryland EZ-Pass in toll plazas in 14 states across the Northeast and inland. Other discount plans are available but have time limits. You should check the website to find out which one will work the best for you.
On the ICC, tolls will vary according to the time you drive. During morning and evening rush hours, (6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) cars and light trucks will pay $1.45. Overnight, from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., the rate drops to $.60, and during other times of the day, it will cost $1.15.
Get ready - tolls will start getting collected on March 7!