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For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES 

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 1, 2016

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

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 Queen Anne’s County’s local priorities, including:  $3.8 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $9,000 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, and key capital and operating transit grants including $604,000 to support the County Ride public transit system.  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 Queen Anne’s County residents with easy transit access to more employment options.

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 Queen Anne’s County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including:  Stertil Koni, S.E.W. Feiel and Paul Reed Smith Guitars.

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 Queen Anne’s County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA is replacing two bridge decks on NB US 301 – one over MD 290 and one over Red Lion Bridge.  This $5.6 million project is expected to be complete next summer.  SHA also is making significant progress on the new US 301/MD 304 interchange.  Work on the $44 million safety project is more than 50 percent complete and is expected to open to traffic in spring 2018. 

Also, thanks to Governor Hogan’s additional $1.3 billion investment in roads and bridges announced last year, we are 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 recently began construction 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. 

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 October 29, 2016, 11,867 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 Queen Anne’s County Commissioners’ Hearing Room in Centreville.  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:   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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