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For Immediate Release:

 

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH ST. MARY’S COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 18, 2016

(Leonardtown, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with St. Mary’s County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2017 – FY 2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) draft six-year capital budget.  Today’s meeting was part of MDOT’s annual tour of 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to update local officials and the public on the Hogan Administration’s $14.4 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, Motor Vehicle Administration facilities, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall).  Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority’s $1.99 billion additional investments in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.

“The annual CTP Tour is a great opportunity for us to connect with our customers and to discuss their transportation priorities,” said Deputy Secretary Ports.  “We are committed to continuing an active dialogue with our customers throughout the year.”

MDOT Team members representing the agency’s six business units were:  Deputy Secretary Ports and Regional Planner Tyson Byrne from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Greg Johnson and District Engineer Tim Smith from the State Highway Administration (SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Administrator Paul Comfort and Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA); and Assistant Government Relations Manager Clay Fischer from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Deputy Secretary Ports outlined key updates on the transportation investments.  Statewide, there are more construction projects underway now than in Maryland’s history, with 1,073 projects totaling $7.9 billion across MDOT from investments in MVA, transit, highways and toll facilities to key projects at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and BWI Marshall.  In addition to these projects, Deputy Secretary Ports announced funding for St. Mary’s County’s local priorities, including: $5.3 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $80,980 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates, and $1.2 million in operating and capital FY 2017 transit grants.  He also said St. Mary’s County Airport in Leonardtown is eligible for about $96,000 during State Fiscal Year 2017 in Regional Aviation grant funding for land acquisition and design work related to a taxiway extension.

Deputy Secretary Ports also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the Port being #1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery and welcoming the first big container ship from Evergreen to come through the newly expanded Panama Canal.  He also named key St. Mary’s County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland, including Jefa Tech that specializes in wireless equipment.

At BWI Marshall, he highlighted steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets.  In 2015, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic with nearly 24 million passengers, and it has seen strong growth continue with 13-straight monthly passenger records from June 2015 to July 2016.  The D/E Connector is a key capital project that is being delivered on a fast-track to meet the growing demand for international service.

On the highway side, he outlined MDOT’s great progress on Governor Larry Hogan’s commitment to fix the 69 structurally deficient bridges in the state system identified in 2015:  15 are complete and open to traffic, another 15 are under construction, and another 25 have been funded for construction.  He also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in St. Mary’s County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said this fall, SHA is beginning a $765,000 sidewalk project on MD 245 (Hollywood Road) from MD 5 to Baldridge Street in Leonardtown.  SHA expects, with good weather, to complete this project spring 2017.  This spring, SHA will begin construction of a $2.8 million roundabout at MD 234 and MD 242 in Clements.  The roundabout will improve safety at the intersection by slowing traffic and having motorists travel to the right around the roundabout.  Also this spring, the launch of a $500,000 drainage improvement project on MD 245 in California is planned.  As part of the project, crews will address local flooding issues by upgrading storm-water management facilities.

Deputy Secretary Ports showed the group the new Maryland Proud license plate that was made available September 26 and can be ordered online for $20 at mva.maryland.gov.  He also described the new Maryland driver’s license as the most secure in the nation.  For the first time ever, the new driver’s license also honors Veterans with VETERAN displayed proudly on the front of the license.  From June 20 to October 8, 2016, 10,173 veterans chose to get the new MD Secure Driver’s License or ID with the Veteran designation on the front.

Officials and residents met at St. Mary’s County Government offices in Leonardtown.  The tour launched September 20 with stops in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties and will conclude November 15 in Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.  Meetings are planned at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City.  For a complete list of the CTP Tour Schedule with dates, times and locations visit:  mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP/2016_CTP_Tour.  To view the draft CTP, visit here:  mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP.

Each fall, MDOT presents its draft six-year capital program to every county and Baltimore City for review and comment.  Following input from the 24 local jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.

Contact:
Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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