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For Immediate Release:

 

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR 
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 6, 2017

(Annapolis, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Anne Arundel 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 State Legislative Officer Tom Curtin from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Ricky Smith ); Local Transit Support Deputy Director Jeannie Fazio from the (MDOT MTA); Harbor Development Director Chris Correale from the MDOT Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Corren Johnson from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Project Planning & Program Development Director Melissa Williams 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 Anne Arundel County’s local priorities, including $22.4 million in Highway User Revenues, which includes the additional $2.2 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 $95,000 for the Anne Arundel County Police Department; $38,000 for the Annapolis Police Department; and $48,620 for Anne Arundel County DUI court.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in Anne Arundel County, including the operation of six Commuter Bus routes to Washington, D.C., MARC Train service from Baltimore to Washington, Light RailLink service and six LocalLink bus routes. This year, MDOT MTA also is contributing $3.42 million in operating and capital grants to support local transit systems in the county and Annapolis. This funding includes two medium duty transit buses for the county, two small paratransit buses and ongoing preventative maintenance for Annapolis. The state also is providing $1.34 million to support four nonprofit organizations that transport seniors and people with disabilities; and it continues to support the county’s top transit priority by working with the developer on the Odenton MARC Station Transit Oriented Development.

The Fort Meade Shuttle service began on October 1 with four new buses providing service to connect the Penn and Camden Line MARC trains with Fort Meade, National Business Park and the National Security Agency.

The transformative new bus system BaltimoreLink launched on June 18, giving Baltimore-area residents for the first time high-frequency bus service that arrives about every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays, much like Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink. More than 130,000 additional people now have access to high-frequency transit within a quarter-mile of where they live.

Secretary Rahn said Anne Arundel County also will benefit from 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 168,700 drivers in Anne Arundel County ‑ on MD 2 in Annapolis and Brooklyn Park and on MD 3 in Crofton.

Secretary Rahn 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 Anne Arundel County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including Exelon, Rhee Brothers, W.R. Grace, Expeditors International, Kuehne and Nagel, Delsey Luggage, Natural Stone Imports; John S. Connor, and Northrup Grumman.

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.

On the highway side, 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.

Secretary Rahn also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Anne Arundel County, where Governor Hogan announced in August that a $23 million project to add an additional eastbound lane on US 50 between MD 70 and MD 2, across the Severn River Bridge, will be complete by Memorial Day 2018. MDOT SHA also remains committed to improving MD 175 near

Fort Meade. Also, the $19.3 million widening of MD 175, between Disney Road and Reece Road, began this spring. The project, which includes a $10 million federal TIGER grant, is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2019. Additionally, an $87.3 million project to reconstruct the interchange at MD 175 and MD 295 will start in late fall 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 the state to replace the Nice Bridge and study a new Bay Bridge crossing. E-ZPass usage among Anne Arundel County residents has increased by 9 percent since December; and there are now 101,770 E-ZPass accountholders in Anne Arundel County.

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. On November 15 at 7 p.m., MDTA will host an online meeting about the Bay Crossing Study at http://baycrossingstudy.com/.

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 also encouraged Anne Arundel County officials to craft a Strategic Highway Safety Plan or adopt Maryland’s, to help save lives. The 522 roadway fatalities Maryland experienced in 2016 is unacceptable, and Rahn 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 at the Arundel Center in Annapolis. 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

 

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