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For Immediate Release:

 

MDOT OFFICIALS MET WITH QUEEN ANNE’S COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

 

September 25, 2017

(Centreville, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Queen Anne’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 Secretary Ports, Government Affairs Director Jeff Tosi, and Regional Planners Ian Beam and Chris Witt from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Deputy Administrator Suhair Al Khatib from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); District Engineer Greg Holsey from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Michele Gross, and Bay Bridge Administrator Richard Jaramillo 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 County’s local priorities, including: $4 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for

FY 2018 – FY 2023, which includes the additional $394,000 grant recently awarded by the Governor; and $12 million in highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $10,000 for the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Queen Anne’s County through the operation of two commuter bus routes, as well as by providing $624,000 in operating and capital grants to support your local County Ride transit operation. This funding includes two small cutaway buses and ongoing preventive maintenance. As part of Governor Hogan’s transformative plan called BaltimoreLink, designed to connect residents to today’s job centers and other life opportunities, MDOT MTA added commuter bus service between the Eastern Shore, Annapolis and Baltimore.

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 Queen Anne’s County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including: Stertil Koni, S.E.W. Feiel, and Paul Reed Smith Guitars.

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 Queen Anne’s County.

Deputy Secretary Ports said MDOT SHA is ahead of schedule and making significant progress on the $44 million US 301/MD 304 interchange. The MD 304 overpass opened for service on August 15, and the entire new interchange should be completed in the Fall of 2018. Construction to replace two bridge decks on northbound US 301 – one over MD 290 and one over Red Lion Bridge – is underway, and MDOT SHA anticipates completing this $5.6 million project later this fall.

Also, the $158 million MD 404 widening project is on schedule to be open for service by Thanksgiving 2017. This critical safety project widens MD 404 from a two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway along the entire stretch between US 50 and the Denton Bypass.

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.

Deputy Secretary Ports also encouraged Queen Anne’s 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 Queen Anne’s County Commissioners’ Hearing Room in Centreville.  The meeting launched the annual tour, which is scheduled to 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 the CTP Tour Schedule with dates, times and locations visit: mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP/2017_CTP_Tour/Index.html. 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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