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For Immediate Release:

 

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

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 21, 2016

(Bel Air, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Harford 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 Secretary Rahn.  “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:  Secretary Rahn, Planning and Capital Programming Director Heather Murphy and Regional Planner Tyson Byrne from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Deputy Executive Director Deborah Sharpless from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA); Administrator Paul Comfort, Planning and Programming Director Kevin Quinn and Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); and Administrator Greg Johnson and Deputy Administrator Greg Slater from the State Highway Administration (SHA).

Secretary Rahn 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, Secretary Rahn announced funding for Harford County’s local priorities, including: $12 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $192,400 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates; and $2 million in capital and operating FY 2017 transit grants.

Secretary Rahn 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 Harford County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland, including: Pier 1 Imports, McCormick, Chesapeake Spice and Agco.

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 Harford County.

SHA is making progress on all three intersection projects along MD 22 through Aberdeen:  Old Post Road is expected to be complete by the end of the year, MD 462 by fall 2017 and Beards Hill Road in spring 2018.  By early next year, a $21 million project will be underway to improve the US 40 at MD 7/MD 159 intersection near Aberdeen.  The City of Aberdeen and Harford County both contributed funding for construction.  This project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.  On the system preservation side, SHA began a $2 million resurfacing project this summer on MD 7 between MD 24 and Abingdon Road just south of Abingdon.  The project is scheduled to be complete in spring 2017.

In early 2017, MDTA will begin on I-95 north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel to reconfigure the roadway to provide four continuous lanes in each direction.  This permanent change will accommodate additional traffic on I-95 while Canton Viaduct on I-895 is being replaced.  The Canton Viaduct Rehabilitation Project will begin in early 2019.  The entire bridge north of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnels on I-895 will be replaced.

In addition to the transit grants being provided to Harford County, Secretary Rahn provided an update on BaltimoreLink.  This Saturday mark’s the one-year anniversary of Governor Larry Hogan’s announcing BaltimoreLink, a transformative transit plan that will connect all Baltimore region transit options into one true transit network.  BaltimoreLink will deliver an interconnected transit system by:  redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout the Baltimore region and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and to MARC, Metro Subway and Light Rail.

In addition to MTA’s more than $800 million annual operating budget, BaltimoreLink harnesses the value of $795 million key capital investments to upgrade the system with:  real-time location and arrival information, 172 new buses, new Metro Subway vehicles and signaling system, and mid-life overhaul of the entire Light Rail fleet and MARC bi-level railcars.  BaltimoreLink also adds key tools to truly integrate all the transit options into one interconnected system with:  a transfer hub network, dedicated bus lanes, transit signal prioritization, new bicycle amenities, access to car-sharing options and much more.

Secretary Rahn provided an update on the progress.  In June, new Express BusLink routes created connections between White Marsh, Owings Mills, Towson, and BWI Airport.  In September, MTA added additional trips to our popular 310/320 service between Baltimore and Columbia.  On October 3, MTA began new service between Baltimore City and Aberdeen Proving Ground, providing greater access to one of the region’s largest employers. Additional new or expanded Commuter Bus service will be launching this spring with the high-frequency CityLink routes launching in summer 2017.

Secretary Rahn 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 Harford County Council Chambers in Bel Air.  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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