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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

November 13, 2017

(Bel Air, MD) –Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Harford County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2018-2023 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 $14.7 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 $2.6 billion additional investments in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.

“The annual CTP Tour lets us engage with our customers about their transportation priorities,” said Secretary Rahn. “We actively dialogue with Marylanders throughout the year, and this lets us talk face-to-face with them about transportation issues that are important to us all.”

MDOT team members representing the agency’s business units were: Transportation Secretary Rahn and Government Affairs Director Jeff Tosi from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); ); Local Transit Support Deputy Director Jeannie Fazio from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Wendy Wolcott from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Deputy Executive Director Deb Sharpless from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Secretary Rahn outlined key updates on the transportation investments. Statewide, there are 846 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and motor vehicle construction projects underway with a value of $9 billion.

In addition to these projects, Secretary Rahn announced funding for Harford County’s local priorities, including $12.4 million in Highway User Revenues, which includes the additional $1.7 million in grants recently awarded by Governor Larry Hogan. He also discussed highway safety grants recently announced by Governor Hogan and administered through MDOT MVA, including $75,000 for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, $8,000 for the Bel Air Police Department, and $3,000 for the Havre de Grace Police Department.

Secretary Rahn said MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in Harford County through MARC Train service, the operation of three Commuter Bus routes, and $3.2 million in operating and capital grants to support the local community. The county’s capital projects include three medium bus replacements, two small bus replacements, and a new media-less fare collection system. The county also will add vehicle video surveillance cameras for the security of its passengers.

Secretary Rahn discussed the overall benefits of Governor Hogan’s $9 billion plan to add four new lanes to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (MD 295), I-270, and the Capital Beltway (I-495). He also said Governor Hogan’s recently announced Phase II of the Traffic Relief Plan ‑ to implement Smart Signal Corridors throughout the state ‑ will benefit 60,400 drivers in Bel Air and Aberdeen.

Secretary Rahn also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the port handling 10.3 million tons of general cargo – from autos and heavy machinery to containers – in FY 2017. The port remains number one in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery, and just one year after welcoming the first mega ship from the newly expanded Panama Canal, port container business is up 10 percent. He also highlighted key Harford County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including Pier 1 Imports; McCormick; Chesapeake Spice; Bob’s Discount Furniture; and Agco.

At BWI Marshall Airport, Secretary Rahn highlighted the D/E Connector expansion and steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets. In FY 2017, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic with nearly 25.7 million passengers, and it has seen strong growth continue with 26-straight monthly passenger records through August.

Secretary Rahn said that under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland is making record investments in highways and bridges. Of the 69 structurally deficient bridges the Hogan Administration identified in June 2015, 41 have been rehabilitated or replaced and are no longer structurally deficient. The remaining 28 are in various stages of design and actively moving toward construction or repair.

Earlier this year, MDOT SHA began construction of the $24 million Phase Two of BRAC improvements at the intersection of US 40 and MD 7/MD 159 near Aberdeen. This phase will widen US 40 to create four through lanes eastbound toward Aberdeen and Aberdeen Proving Ground and three through lanes on westbound US 40 toward Edgewood. The US 40 bridge over Cranberry Run will be widened to accommodate the new lanes. Phase Two is scheduled to be complete in the fall of 2019.

In Edgewood, work on the $5.8 million project to improve MD 755, from Willoughby Beach Road to the Edgewood MARC station, will be complete by the end of this year. MDOT SHA also is working on a $6.5 million resurfacing project on MD 22 in Churchville, between MD 136 and Prospect Mill Road. MDOT SHA anticipates this project will be complete by late fall of 2018.

At MDTA, Secretary Rahn said Governor Hogan’s toll rate reductions have saved Marylanders $122 million since 2015. Toll rate reductions will continue to save Maryland citizens and businesses approximately $54 million annually.

With lower tolls, more people are using MDTA’s toll facilities, driving up revenues higher than expected and allowing the state to replace the Nice Bridge and study a new Bay Bridge crossing. usage among Harford County residents has increased by 6.1 percent since December; and there are now 49,802 E-ZPass accountholders in Harford County.

A Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study of location and funding options for a third Chesapeake Bay crossing began in January and will take up to 48 months to complete. MDTA anticipates advertising a design-build contract for the new Nice Bridge in 2018, starting construction in 2020, and opening a new, wider and safer bridge in 2023. Using practical-design and value-engineering approaches, MDTA has reduced project costs by more than $200 million below early study estimates. The new bridge will be built north of and parallel to the existing 1.7-mile bridge and will include two lanes of traffic in each direction.

Secretary Rahn applauded Harford County officials for crafting a Strategic Highway Safety Plan to help save lives. The 522 roadway fatalities Maryland experienced in 2016 is unacceptable, and Rahn said highway safety plans help target the most common causes of roadway fatalities in Maryland: impaired driving; speeding; not wearing seat belts; distracted driving; and not using crosswalks.

Officials and residents met today in the Harford County Council Chambers in Bel Air. The tour launched September 25 in Queen Anne’s County and concluded today in Harford County. Meetings were held at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. For a complete list of dates, times, locations and directions, click here: ow.ly/lEDN30e8SF3. 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.

Contact:

Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025 office
443-829-9386 cell
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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