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For Immediate Release:

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

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 2, 2017

(Frederick, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Frederick 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 State Legislative Officer Tom Curtin from The Secretary’s Office; Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer John Concannon from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the (MDOT MTA).

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 for Frederick County’s local priorities, including: $16.4 million in Highway User Revenues and grant dollars, which includes the additional $2.9 million grant recently awarded by the Governor; and $45,000 in highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA for the Frederick Police Department. MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Frederick County through intercity bus service, Commuter Bus and MARC train services, and by providing $6 million in operating and capital grants to support the local bus service, TransIt.

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 Frederick County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including: Bramati Marble and Granite, Global Hardware Systems, Music & Arts Center and Dynamic Rugs.

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 24-straight monthly passenger records through June.

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 Frederick County, including MDOT SHA’s $36.9 million for two projects to break the bottleneck near AstraZeneca. The first project to widen MD 180 and Solarex Court opened to traffic in December 2016 with final paving and improvements completed this summer. The second $31 million project is in design to replace the MD 180 bridge over US 15.  Construction is scheduled to start in Fall 2018.  Once complete, the project will carry a total of four lanes on two bridges over US 15 with access for pedestrians and bicycles.

MDOT SHA also is nearing completion of the new $61 million grade-separated US 15 interchange at Monocacy Boulevard and Christopher’s Crossing, which will open in phases in the Spring and Summer of 2018. Associated improvements include creating a new east-west route across northern Frederick and constructing a park-and-ride lot to be served by MTA Commuter Bus service to Montgomery County. MDOT SHA also is excited to begin the $101 million I-270 interchange reconstruction at MD 85 this Fall. MDOT anticipates completing this project in 2021.

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 the new Bay Bridge replacement. E-ZPass usage among Frederick County residents has increased by 6.8 percent since last December; and there are now nearly 22,000 E-ZPass account holders in Frederick County alone.

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.

Deputy Secretary Ports also encouraged Frederick 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 Winchester Hall, in the county government complex in Frederick. 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 
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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