In what has been described as a “tense, eleventh-hour decision,” the Montogmery County Planning Board last week voted to support the hotly debated highway that would extend Midcounty Highway to Ridge Road.
Also known as M-83, the Midcounty extension has been on county master plans for decades and has been wrangled over for years, Montgomery Village and Gaithersburg Patch have reported.
The Gazette reported Monday that the planning board, in a 3-2 vote, chose to support Alternative 9A.
This option—one of 11 initially presented for the county-funded project—would cost between $338 million and $357 million and would be comprised of a four-lane highway between Midcounty Highway and Watkins Mill Road, would extend north through Wayfarer Road and Germantown parklands and end at the intersection of Ridge Road and Snowden Farm Parkway, the newspaper reports.
Option Alternative 9A would impact nearly 50 acres of parkland, the most of all the other options, according to The Gazette’s account.
Opinions have been mixed as to which option the county should choose for the extension. Most recently, opponents of Alternative 9A launched an online petition and had garnered 683 supporters as of Wednesday afternoon, when this story was published at Patch.
The Planning Board will forward its recommendation to the Montgomery County Council.