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For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MEET WITH WASHINGTON COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Secretary Announces Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 6, 2016

(Hagerstown, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Washington 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 from The Secretary’s Office; Deputy Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Tony Crawford from the State Highway Administration (SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer and Regional Manager Rhashad Johnson from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki, A.A.E. from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA); and Local Transit Support Deputy Director Jeannie Fazio from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).

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 Washington County’s local priorities, including: $9.7 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $32,500 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates, and $2 million in operating and capital FY 2017 transit grants.  He also told the county that it is eligible for about $230,000 during State Fiscal Year 2017 in Regional Aviation grant funding for air service marketing, security perimeter improvements, and taxiway construction at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

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 Washington County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including: Volvo/Mack Trucks, Holcim Cement and Tractor Supply.

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 12-straight monthly passenger records from June 2015 to June 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 Washington County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA this summer began a $4.9 million bridge rehabilitation project on the eastbound I-70 ramp to MD 522.  The project is expected to be complete in summer 2017.  This fall, SHA is beginning a $93 million project to upgrade and widen both sides of the I-81 Bridge over the Potomac River.  West Virginia is contributing about $38 million of the total cost for widening on their side of the bridge.  The entire project is expected to be completed in 2020.  Also this fall, SHA is resurfacing northbound I-81 between I-70 and Halfway Boulevard and adding a continuous merge lane between these locations.  A project to resurface southbound I-81 between the Pennsylvania line and Halfway Boulevard including adding a continuous merge lane between US 40 and MD 58 also will take place this fall.  The two projects total more than $11 million and are expected to be complete summer 2017. 

Deputy Secretary Ports showed the group the new Maryland Proud license plate that was made available this week 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.

Officials and residents met at a county library in Hagerstown.  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
Teri Moss
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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