Sales also said the funding is not in place for the Section 200 project, which has been in planning stages for nearly a decade and is currently estimated to cost $2 billion.

"The funding is not in place, or coming down the pipeline any time soon," Sales said.

The Consolidated Transportation Plan, known to transportation officials by its acronym CTP, lists the priority projects statewide for the 2012 fiscal year through the 2017 fiscal year.

"I can definitely say this project will not be moving forward in six years' time," Sales said.

Sales said the Section 200 project includes plans for two Park-and-Ride lots, one off Route 152 and the other off Route 24 near Bel Air, "but the actual location has yet to be determined."

Planning documents provided by Sales last week, however, show a large Park-and-Ride lot for Route 152 at the southern edge of the church building, and a Route 24 lot in the southeast quadrant of the intersection of Route 24 (Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway) and Route 924 (Emmorton Road)

"As we do not have funding identified beyond planning for this project, no efforts are underway to purchase the property needed for the MD 152 Park & Ride," Sales wrote in an e-mail last week.

The MdTA operates and maintains toll roads, bridges and tunnels across the state, and has $2.17 billion worth of projects in its portion of the Transportation Department's 2012-2017 Consolidated Transportation Plan.

The agency's funding comes only from toll revenues; no money comes from the state's Transportation Trust Fund or general fund, Sales said.

Smaller jobs

Officials with the MdTA are seeking various federal and state permits to conduct system preservation projects to maintain Section 200 in its current eight-lane state, according to Sales.

"It allow us to do any of those smaller system preservation projects without having to go through the permitting process for those," Sales explained.

"When we applied for [the Nontidal Wetlands and Waterways Permit] over two years ago, the intent was to focus it on the Section 200 ETLs [Express Toll Lanes] but it also does have an added benefit of allowing us to do these smaller system preservation projects on that stretch of I-95," Sales continued.

The agency is also overseeing construction of toll lanes for Section 100 of I-95, between the I-95/895 split north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore and just north of White Marsh. That project is expected to be completed in 2014.

Rabenau, who is also a member of the Joppa-Joppatowne Community Council, suggested the state create separate permits for the toll lanes and park and ride.

He works in Silver Spring and regularly commutes on I-95 and said the major traffic issues going toward Baltimore occur closer to the Beltway, on Section 100, south of White Marsh. He suggests waiting until Section 100 is complete and those toll lanes are in use before considering upgrades to Section 200.

"I believe that the MdTA would be wise to finish Section 100 and observe its benefits, observe its impact," Rabenau said.

Sales said the toll lanes for Section 200 were determined by MdTA planners to be the "most viable option" for relieving congestion on I-95 in Harford County, based on comments from the agency, the public and environmental and engineering analysts.