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Full length of ICC to be well-traveled

Wednesday - 11/2/2011, 2:52pm  ET

The first leg of the ICC opened in February. (WTOP Photo)

WASHINGTON - Maryland's transportation secretary says she expects when the full length of the Intercounty Connector opens Nov. 22, the 18-mile stretch will be busy.

"We always knew that to really get full utilization out of that new highway, we needed the full length of it," says Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley.

"The road is much more functional in its entirety than it is for the section that we opened last year."

The six-lane, electronic toll highway connects Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

The full length, with its eight interchanges, will stretch between the Interstate 370 corridor in Gaithersburg and Interstate 95 in Laurel.

On a related note, one of the authors of the Montgomery County Highway Assessment Report is now backing off a key finding of that report.

The finding said the ICC does not appear to be relieving congestion at major intersections near the highway. The statement is problematic because the traffic counts were done before the first phase of the ICC opened.

Planning Supervisor Eric Graye tells WTOP the comment was "over the top" and that an appropriate assessment should be done once the $2.4 billion project is finished.

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WTOP's Darci Marchese and Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Darci, Kate and WTOP on Twitter.

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