MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — This will be the first time these traffic lights called “ramp meters” are used in Maryland and they are expected to ease congestion on the busy interstate. 

The new ramp metering system from northbound MD 118 to southbound I-270 in the Germantown area of Montgomery County will be activated as a flashing yellow signal, before becoming fully operational on June 23rd.

Shanteé Felix, spokesperson for MDOT SHA, said, “We wanted to look at it in a live traffic environment. This was an area that our engineers needs in terms of track volume and site distance and things like that. So we want to put it in place and also get residents and motorists in this area used to it.”

MDOT will then use this single location as a way to test the system for one week before the entire southbound I-270 ramp meter system is activated later this year. The northbound I-270 ramp metering system is expected to be activated in 2022.

When ramp metering is in operation drivers will see a warning sign with flashing beacons, motorists should then be prepared to stop at the line, and when the signal turns green– you can proceed onto the ramp to merge. The signal will only allow one car at a time to go from each lane. 

In total, there will be 45 meters on entrance ramps along the interstate by the end of 2022.