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For Immediate Release:



Deputy Secretary Announces Local Grants and Key Project Updates

September 20, 2016

(Princess Anne, MD)   Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Somerset 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 (SHA); Administrator Paul Comfort and Locally Operated Transit System Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA); Field Operations Director Richard Norman from the  Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA); 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 Somerset County’s local priorities including:  $2.3 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for six years; $6,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 highway safety grants for law enforcement; $40,000 grant for a Smith Island Ferry Feasibility Study; and $3.54 million operating and capital Fiscal Year 2017 transit grants for Shore 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.   Deputy Secretary Ports also told the county that it is eligible for about $9,000 in Fiscal Year 2017 Regional Aviation grant funding for land acquisition at Crisfield-Somerset 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 the local benefit to Somerset County’s University of Maryland Eastern Shore that ships in school supplies from the Port of Baltimore.
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 Somerset County.  
Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA continues to move forward Somerset County’s top priority by finalizing design of the MD 413 hiker-biker trail.  SHA also is working closely with MTA to acquire the needed rights of way for the trail.  In addition, SHA is nearing completion of a $1.8 million project to rehabilitate the US 13 Bridge over Kings Creek.  The bridge work is done, but we added an acceleration lane to the project and that will be complete by mid-October.  This fall, SHA also will begin a $1.8 million project on US 13 between Jones Road and Old Eden Road near the Wicomico County/Somerset County line.   Crews will grind, patch and resurface US 13 and add a new median crossover.
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.
In addition to meeting with elected officials and residents at the at the Somerset County Offices Complex in Princess Anne, the MDOT Team also met with elected officials and residents at the Worcester County Government Center in Snow Hill and 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:  To view the draft CTP, visit here:
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.
Contact:  Erin Henson 
MDOT Public Affairs

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