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For Immediate Release:

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

Deputy Secretary Announces Local Grants and Key Project Updates 

September 29, 2016

(Laurel, MD)   Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Howard 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; Administrator Greg Johnson, Deputy Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Mark Crampton from the State Highway Administration (SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); Planning and Engineering Chief Paul Shank from the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA); Planning and Program Development Deputy Director Melissa Williams from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA); 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 Howard County’s local priorities, including: $10 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2017 – FY 2022; $130,570 in FY 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement and safety advocates, and $2.2 million in operating and capital FY 2017 transit grants.
On the transit side, he discussed BaltimoreLink, Governor Larry Hogan’s transformative transit improvement plan, that will deliver a unified public transportation system, help jumpstart economic growth, connect people to major economic and entertainment centers and get people where they want and need to go faster.  BaltimoreLink will include dedicated bus lanes, bike facilities, enhancements to Light Rail and Metro Subway stations, improvements at major bus stops, new and enhanced Commuter Bus service, and streetscaping upgrades.
 
This month, as part of BaltimoreLink, MTA enhanced the Commuter Bus Route 320 between Baltimore and Columbia to include an additional roundtrip and earlier service.
 
Deputy Secretary Ports also outlined MDOT’s ongoing support for relief efforts in Ellicott City, with a $250,000 funding commitment.  Of that investment, $38,000 is expected to go for roadway repairs that are ineligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance.  The remaining funds will go toward an essential hydrology study that will help guide additional repairs and mitigation activities.  Work on the scope of this study is underway.
 
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 Howard County companies that count on the Port to conduct business here in Maryland including:  Rhee Brothers, Daltile and W.R. Grace.
 
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 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 Howard County.
 
Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA is nearing completion on the $35 million widening of northbound US 29 between Seneca Drive and MD 175.  The newly added third northbound lane should open to traffic spring 2017.  With Howard County contributing about $16 million, SHA will begin a $35 million project to widen MD 32 between MD 108 and Linden Church Road next spring.  MD 32 is one of the most heavily traveled two-lane roads in Maryland.  This project will dramatically improve safety on the southern end of MD 32.  Also next spring, SHA will begin a $3.9 million resurfacing of northbound MD 32 between the Middle Patuxent River and north of MD 108.  The project will be complete fall 2017.
 
Deputy Secretary Ports also showed the group the new Maryland Proud license plate that was made available this week and can be ordered on line at mva.maryland.gov.  He also talked about the new Maryland driver’s license and ID card that are the most secure in the nation and let veterans have the VETERAN designation on the front.
 
Officials and residents met today at the North Laurel Community Center in Laurel.  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.
 
 
Media Contact:
Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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