Skip Navigation
Skip to Main Content

 

News You Can Use

For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES 

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 2, 2017

(Upper Marlboro, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Prince George’s 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 Deputy Secretary Ports. “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: Deputy Transportation Secretary Ports, Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis, and Government Affairs Director Jeff Tosi from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Ricky Smith ); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the Maryland Transit Adminstration
(MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Brian Young from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Chief of Operations John O’Neill from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Speaking on behalf of Secretary Pete K. Rahn, Deputy Secretary Ports 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, Deputy Secretary Ports announced funding for Prince George’s County’s local priorities, including: $33.6 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities over the next six years, which includes the additional $5.5 million in grants recently awarded by the Governor. He also discussed highway safety grants recently announced by Governor Hogan and administered through MDOT MVA, including $227,000 for the Prince George’s Police Department; $33,000 to the Greenbelt Police Department; $30,000 to the Laurel Police Department; $7,000 to the Riverdale Park Police Department; $5,000 for the City of Bowie; and $2,000 each for the City of Hyattsville and the Bladensburg police departments.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Prince George’s County through the operation of MARC train service, Commuter Bus service, and by providing $14.8 million in operating and capital grants to support “The Bus” local transit operation. This funding includes bus replacements for transit operations. Also, MDOT MTA continues to support the county’s No. 1 priority by furthering work on the Purple Line.

Deputy Secretary Ports also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the port handling 10.1 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 Prince George’s County companies count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including Regency Furniture, Huntsman Pigments, and East Coast Metals.

At BWI Marshall, he highlighted 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.

On the highway side, Deputy Secretary Ports 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.

Deputy Secretary Ports also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Prince George’s County, where MDOT SHA is working on a $35.7 million project to replace the
I-95 Bridges over Suitland Road by the end of 2020. Construction is underway to build a new $140 million interchange on MD 4 at Suitland Parkway. The project – with an anticipated completion in fall 2020 ‑ will relieve traffic congestion and accommodate increased traffic expected with development in the area.

Construction also is underway on the $115 million MD 210 interchange at Kerby Hill and Livingston Roads, a project Governor Hogan announced in June 2016. The new interchange will carry both roads over MD 210, eliminating two traffic signals. A new interchange also is under construction in Brandywine, improving safety for travelers using MD 5, Accokeek and Brandywine roads. The $55.4 million project will add a new service road, a new bridge and a ridesharing lot to reduce congestion along the MD 5 corridor.

As safety remains the top priority for the state, a full-color traffic signal with pedestrian countdown/accessible signals on MD 214 (Central Avenue) at the Addison Road Metrorail Station in Prince George’s County has been activated, providing pedestrians with safer access. To address safety at the University of Maryland College Park campus, MDOT SHA’s design team is working with the University. Safety improvements on US 1 between College Avenue and MD 193 will advertise for construction in June 2018.

At MDTA, 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, allowing us to replace the Nice Bridge and study a new Bay Bridge crossing. E-ZPass usage among Prince George’s County residents has increased by 13 percent since last December. There are now 76,890 E-ZPass accountholders in Prince George’s County, who continue to save more than 50 percent in travel time by using the ICC compared to using other parallel routes.

A Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study of location and funding options for a third Chesapeake Bay crossing began in January 2017 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.

Deputy Secretary Ports also applauded Prince George’s County officials for crafting a Strategic Highway Safety Plan to help save lives. The 522 roadway fatalities Maryland experienced in 2016 is unacceptable, and Ports said a highway safety plan would 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 Prince George’s County Administration Building in Upper Marlboro. The tour launched September 25 in Queen Anne’s County and will conclude November 13 in Harford County. Meetings are planned 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

#  #  #