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For Immediate Release:

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

Deputy Secretary Announces Local Grants and Key Project Updates

September 20, 2016

(Snow Hill, MD)   Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Worcester 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 is 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.  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 to connect with MDOT leadership to discuss transportation priorities in each county,” said Deputy Secretary Ports.  “We are committed to continuing an active dialogue throughout the year.”
 
The MDOT Team included representatives from The Secretary’s Office and the six business units: Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports from The Secretary’s Office;  Administrator Greg Johnson, Deputy Administrator Greg Slater, and District Engineer Donnie Drewer from the State Highway Administration; Administrator Paul Comfort and Locally Operated Transit System Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration; Field Operations Director Richard Norman from the  Motor Vehicle Administration; Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki, A.A.E, from the Maryland Aviation Administration; and Planning and Program Development Director Dennis Simpson from the  Maryland Transportation Authority. 
 
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 Thurgood Marshall.  In addition to these projects, Deputy Secretary Ports announced funding for Worcester County’s local priorities including:  $5.4 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for six years; $51,775 in Fiscal Year 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates, and $6.64 million operating and capital Fiscal Year 2017 transit grants with $3.54 million for Shore Transit and $3.1 million Ocean City Transit.  To date, $9.4 million has been spent on the Shore Transit Facility with another $1.5 million committed last year to provide for the public utilities connections needed.   Deputy Secretary Ports also told the county that it is eligible for about $153,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 Regional Aviation grant funding for environmental assessment work and design of taxi-lane improvements at Ocean City Municipal Airport.  
 
At the Port Baltimore, he touted the latest records from 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 Worcester County businesses that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including:  Sunspecs of Ocean City, Grand Living Magazine and Teak Imports.  
 
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 has seen strong growth continue in 2016 with 12-straight monthly passenger records from June 2015 to June 2016.  The D/E Connector is one key capital project that is being delivered on a fast-track to meet the growing demand for international service.  
 
On the highway side, MDOT has made 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 Worcester County.  
 
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 said that SHA is hard at work on the 4.6 mile, $52 million widening of US 113 (Phase III) between Massey Branch and Five Mile Branch Road with anticipated completion late 2017.  The final US 113 widening phase, an $85 million project to widen more than four miles between Five Mile Branch Road and Public Landing road, will begin early 2017.  Beginning spring 2017, SHA will begin a $5.9 million project on MD 528 (Coastal Highway) between 62nd Street and the Convention Center at 40th Street.  The project will improve pedestrian safety by adding median fencing, lighting and other pedestrian amenities.
 
In addition to meeting with elected officials and residents at the Worcester County Government Center in Snow Hill, the MDOT Team also met with officials and local residents at the Somerset County Offices Complex in Princess Anne and at the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center in Salisbury.
 
Meetings are planned at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City through November 15.  Please visit our website for a complete list of the CTP Tour Schedule with dates, times and locations at:  http://ow.ly/kqpP304fubQ.  To view the draft CTP, visit here:  http://ow.ly/fov5304ftL8.
 
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 then prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.  
 
Media Contact:
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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