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For Immediate Release:
September 26, 2017

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

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Chestertown, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Kent 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; District Engineer Greg Holsey from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); District Manager Nasim Sultan 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 Project Planning & Program Development Director Melissa Williams 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 for Kent County’s local priorities, including: $2.2 million in Highway User Revenues, which includes the additional $320,000 grant recently awarded by the Governor; and $10,000 in highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office; $1.2 million in operating and capital grants to support local transit operations in conjunction with Caroline and Talbot counties; and $195,000 in capital assistance to Delmarva Community Service 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 Kent County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland, including: Jones Equipment, Life Science Products, and American Container Equipment & Supply.

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 Kent County.  Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA is dedicating $18.8 million to resurfacing projects throughout Kent County. Improvements include milling and resurfacing along MD 213, MD 298, MD 292, and MD 566. Many of these roadways have been completed, with the remaining projects finishing up this fall. SHA also is rehabilitating the US 301 NB bridge over MD 290. This $2.3 million project is anticipated to be completed in the spring of 2018.

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 Kent 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 County Government Center in Chestertown. 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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