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For Immediate Release:

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

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES 

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 15, 2016

(Cambridge, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Dorchester 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; Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki, A.A.E, from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA); Harbor Development Director Chris Correale from the Maryland Port Administration (MPA); Field Operations Director Richard Norman from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); District Engineer Donnie Drewer 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 Dorchester County’s local priorities, including:  $4.1 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022 and $982,000 in key FY 2017 capital and operating transit grants to support the local transit operation.  This transit funding includes the replacement of three small cutaway buses and ongoing preventive maintenance.  In addition, Delmarva Community Services and Dove Point will receive $683,000 in capital assistance to support the important transportation services they provide 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 Dorchester County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including:  Maryland Plastic, M and M Refrigeration, and Trenton Pipe.

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.

Locally, the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport is eligible for about $197,000 during State Fiscal Year 2017 in Regional Aviation grant funding for a number of improvement projects, including a replacement automated airport weather station, security fencing and gates, and obstruction removal.

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 Dorchester County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA recently began a $3.6 million project to construct a roundabout at the intersection of MD 16 and Woods Road in Cambridge.  In addition to the roundabout, SHA is installing a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path, relocating utilities, improving drainage and upgrading lighting with LED systems.  Project completion is anticipated fall 2017.  Also, next spring SHA will begin a $1.6 million resurfacing project on US 50 between Bucktown Road and Austin Road in Cambridge.  Project completion is estimated 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 Dorchester County Office Building in Cambridge.  The tour launched September 20 with stops in Worcester, Somerset and Wicomico counties and concluded today in Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester counties.

Meetings were 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:   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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