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For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH CAROLINE COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR 

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES 

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 15, 2016

(Denton, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Caroline 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 business units were: Deputy Secretary Ports and Regional Planner Ian Beam from The Secretary’s Office; Field Operations Director Richard Norman from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Administrator Paul Comfort and Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); Deputy Administrator Dave Coyne and District Engineer Greg Holsey from the State Highway Administration (SHA); and Acting Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Speaking on behalf of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn, Deputy Secretary Ports outlined key updates on the transportation investments.  Statewide, more construction projects are underway than at any other time 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 Caroline County’s local priorities, including: $3.7 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $20,000 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, and $1.1 million in key FY 2017 operating and capital grants to support local transit operation in conjunction with Talbot County.  This funding will provide replacement of three small cutaway buses and ongoing preventive maintenance.  In addition, Delmarva Community Services will receive $573,000 in capital assistance to support the transportation services it provides for seniors and people with disabilities.

As part of Governor Hogan’s transformative plan called BaltimoreLink, designed to connect all the transit pieces into one true transit network throughout the Baltimore region, MTA also is moving forward with implementing a new Commuter Bus route next spring that will provide service between Kent Island, Annapolis and Baltimore, linking Eastern Shore residents with easy transit access to more employment options.  Three public hearings are being held on the proposed commuter bus service:  one last night in Baltimore; one tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kent Island Senior Center, 891 Love Point Road, Stevensville, Maryland 21666; and one Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Annapolis Regional Library, 1410 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401.

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 highlighted key Caroline County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including: Schultz and Sons Salvage, Inc., and Chemspec.

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 14-straight monthly passenger records from July 2015 to August 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 Caroline County.

Thanks to Governor Hogan’s additional $1.3 billion investment in roads and bridges announced last year, the state is making great progress on completing the widening of the entire 11.3-mile stretch of MD 404 from US 50 to the Denton Bypass from a two-lane divided highway to a four-lane divided highway with a median and shoulders.  SHA began construction this fall on the $168 million widening project that will be complete by next Thanksgiving.  This long-overdue widening project will improve safety and operations and reduce summer traffic congestion. 

The $61 million replacement of the Dover Bridge also continues to move forward.  This massive project along MD 331 will replace the existing old swing-span bridge between Caroline and Talbot counties.  Two cameras have been added, one on each approach to the bridge, for motorists to view real-time traffic conditions before they leave their home or office.  Also, SHA will begin a $1.3 million safety and resurfacing project next spring on MD 404 Business between 1st Street and 9th Street.  Work will be completed on this resurfacing project by fall 2017.

At the Maryland Transportation Authority, we are undertaking a 48-month Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Study for an additional Bay Crossing.  The two main goals of this study are to identify where the crossing will be located and explore financing options.

Deputy Secretary Ports also 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 November 12, 2016, 13,033 veterans chose to get the new MD Secure Driver’s License or ID with the Veteran designation on the front.

Officials and residents met today at the Caroline County Board of Education Building in Denton.  The tour launched September 20 with stops in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties and concludes today in Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.  Meetings were held 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:   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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