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For Immediate Release:

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH CAROLINE COUNTY 
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR 

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES 

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

November 7, 2017

(Denton, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Caroline 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 Secretary Ports and Government Affairs Director Jeff Tosi from The Secretary’s Office; District Engineer Greg Holsey from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Office of Local Transit Support Deputy Director Jeannie Fazio from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); and Government Relations Manager Michele Gross from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Speaking on behalf of Transportation 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 local priorities, including:
$3.8 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities over the next six years, which includes the additional $550,000 in grants recently awarded by Governor Larry Hogan. He also discussed highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including more than $18,000 to the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office and $2,500 for the Denton Police Department.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Caroline County by providing $1.2 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit operation in conjunction These funds will provide replacement of two small cutaway buses, one medium duty bus, 10 radios and ongoing preventive maintenance. In addition, Delmarva Community Services will receive $195,000 to support the transportation services it provides for seniors and people with disabilities.

Deputy Secretary Ports 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 Caroline County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including Schultz and Sons, Maryland Plastics, and Trenton Pipes.

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 are actively moving toward construction or repair.

Deputy Secretary Ports also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Caroline County, where he said the $168 million widening on MD 404 between US 50 and Denton is nearly complete and will be open to traffic by Thanksgiving.

Another huge safety project Deputy Secretary Ports said is moving along nicely is the $65 million replacement of the Dover Bridge. The project is ahead of schedule, and the bridge is estimated to be open to traffic next spring.

At MDTA, Governor Hogan’s toll rate reductions have saved Marylanders $122 million since 2015. 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/.

Deputy Secretary Ports also encouraged Caroline County officials to develop a Strategic Highway Safety Plan or adopt Maryland’s. The 522 roadway fatalities Maryland experienced in 2016 is unacceptable, and a Strategic 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 Board of Education Building in Denton. 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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