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For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH CHARLES COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 18, 2016

(La Plata, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Charles 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, Planning and Programming Director Kevin Quinn and Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); Assistant Government Relations Manager Clay Fischer from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA); and Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA).

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 Charles County’s local priorities, including: $7.1 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $75,750 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates, and $3.4 million in operating and capital FY 2017 transit grants.

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 Charles County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland, including:  Facchina Construction and BTP Arms.

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 Charles County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA next spring will begin a $5 million project to replace the structurally deficient MD 234 Bridge over Gilbert Swamp Run in Allens Fresh.  As part of this project, one travel lane will remain open with alternating traffic controlled by a signal.  The project is expected to be complete fall 2018.  Also by early next fall, SHA will begin a $9 million replacement of the MD 254 Bridge over Neale Sound in Cobb Island.  SHA will be able to maintain traffic during construction since crews will build the new bridge next to the existing bridge.

MDTA is continuing to make progress on preliminary engineering for the Nice Bridge.  This work totals $61 million in this six-year CTP for:  environmental studies, test borings, right-of-way acquisition and preliminary engineering for replacement designs.  These are the final steps to get the project to a design-build point.

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 Charles County Government Building in La Plata.  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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