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For Immediate Release:


Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

October 6, 2017

(Oakland, MD) ‑ Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Garrett 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; Deputy Administrator Jason Ridgway and District Engineer Anthony Crawford from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); and Local Transit Support Deputy Director Jeannie Fazio from the MDOT Transit Administration (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 Garrett County’s local priorities, including: $4.6 million in Highway User Revenues and grant dollars, which includes the additional $574,000 grant recently awarded by the Governor. Also, MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Garrett County through intercity bus service and by providing $1.1 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. An additional $87,000 will be provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.

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 Garrett County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including: Total Biz Fulfillment, D-S Livestock Equipment and Simon Pearce.

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 actively moving toward construction or repair.

Deputy Secretary Ports also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Garrett County, including progress being made on the $72.2 million upgrade and relocation of US 219 from north of I-68 to Old Salisbury Road. The project is anticipated to begin construction in the spring of 2018, with an estimated completion in summer 2021. In addition to that, a $2.1 million resurfacing project on MD 38 (Kitzmiller Road) between Vindex Road and MD 135 began this summer and will be completed by the end of October. Also, this summer, MDOT SHA began a $1.7 million project to rehabilitate the US 50 (George Washington Highway) Bridge over the Youghiogheny River. The new bridge is open to traffic, and the entire project will be completed by the end of the year.

At Maryland Transportation Authority (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. 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 Garrett County officials to create a Strategic Highway Safety Plan or adopt Maryland’s, in order to save lives. The 522 roadway fatalities Maryland experienced in 2016 is unacceptable, and 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 Garrett County Commissioner’s Meeting Room in Oakland. 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: To view the draft CTP, visit:

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.


Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs

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