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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 15, 2018

Contact: Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs
410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

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

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Officials Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Towson, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Baltimore County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2019-2024 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 $16 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, Motor Vehicle Administration facilities, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall). Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority’s $3.3 billion in additional investments in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.

“We continue to deliver on the largest construction program in the state’s history, improving customer service at MDOT, and setting records for containers at the port and for passengers at the airport,” said Secretary Rahn.

MDOT team members representing the agency’s business units were: Transportation Secretary Rahn; Administrator Ricky Smith from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); Deputy Administrator Leslie Dews from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Wendy Wolcott from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Executive Director Kevin Reigrut from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA); and Deputy Executive Director Dave Thomas from the MDOT Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA).

Secretary Rahn outlined key updates on transportation investments. Statewide, there are 816 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Administration construction projects underway with a value of $8.8 billion.

In addition to these projects, Secretary Rahn announced funding for Baltimore County’s local priorities, including: $54.6 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for fiscal 2019–2024, which includes an additional $4.5 million in grants awarded recently by the governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $300,680 for the Baltimore County Police Department and $6,750 for the Baltimore County Department of Health.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in Baltimore County through the operation of BaltimoreLink bus routes, Metro SubwayLink, Light RailLink, MobilityLink, MARC Train service, and Commuter Bus. Additionally, $560,000 is awarded to the county to support the County Ride bus service and the Rideshare program. Another $868,000 has been awarded to support nonprofit organizations that transport seniors and people with disabilities in Baltimore County.

In June 2017, MDOT MTA launched BaltimoreLink, a complete overhaul and rebranding of the core transit system operating within Baltimore City and throughout the region. As a result, MDOT MTA improved on-time performance from 59.5 percent in fall 2016 to nearly 70 percent in August 2018.

The MDOT MTA bus system is safer than ever. Despite providing over 300,000 more miles of additional service, there have been 20 percent fewer accidents than under the previous system. Call volumes and customer complaints are down. Even though the customer service number was included on 4,200 newly designed bus stop signs, call volumes are down 40 percent year-over-year. In addition, bus-related complaints are down 49 percent.

MDOT MTA recently launched the LocalLink 63 route to provide service from downtown Baltimore to the Tradepoint Atlantic job center, which is expected to provide 10,000 jobs by 2025.

MDOT MTA continues to invest in new vehicles and recently signed a five-year, $211 million bus contract for 350 buses. The contract ensures fleet continuity through 2024.

Improvements are underway on the Baltimore region’s rail infrastructure as well. MDOT MTA is investing $400 million to replace the Metro SubwayLink railcars and signal system. The new vehicles will enhance passenger comfort and convenience and ensure reliability.

Additionally, MDOT MTA’s Light Rail 53 vehicle fleet is undergoing a $160 million overhaul. MDOT MTA is investing another $52 million to overhaul 63 MARC III passenger coaches, a project set to be completed by 2021.

MDOT MTA has dedicated $61 million for production of eight new MP-36 diesel locomotives, and the Federal Railroad Administration recently approved high-speed testing for 54 MARC IV coaches, which travel at 125 miles per hour – the fastest commuter rail service in the country.

In March, MDOT MTA installed GPS units on the entire bus fleet, which gives MDOT MTA accurate location information for all buses. In June, MDOT MTA partnered with Transit to provide real-time bus arrival information to riders. Since its launch, 65,000 users have downloaded the app.

MDOT MTA in September launched CharmPass, a mobile transit app. Riders using CharmPass (and CharmCard) now have a free 90-minute transfer window when riding Local Bus, Light RailLink, and Metro SubwayLink. To date, nearly 14,000 users have downloaded the CharmPass app.

Secretary Rahn also highlighted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the port handling 10.9 million tons of general cargo – from autos and heavy machinery to containers – in fiscal 2018. The port remains No. 1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery and handled a record 596,972 containers in 2017.

BWI Marshall is experiencing steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets. In 2017, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic by exceeding 26 million passengers. The airport through August set new passenger records in 37 of the previous 38 months.

On the highway side, Secretary Rahn noted that under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland continues to deliver on record investments in highways and bridges. Of the 69 structurally deficient bridges the Hogan administration identified in June 2015, all have been repaired, replaced or are advertised for construction.

Transportation officials also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Baltimore County.

In December 2017, Governor Hogan announced $461 million in new traffic relief initiatives to add 27 lane miles to I-695 and I-95. The plan includes shifting the inside shoulder into an available travel lane on approximately 19 miles of both loops of I-695 between I-70 and MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard). The plan aims to relieve congestion relief during peak travel times. In addition, the project will include bridge replacement and ramp reconfiguration at I-695 and I-70.

MDOT SHA is in the process of deploying cutting-edge smart traffic signals that will significantly ease congestion on major corridors, including US 40 between Coleridge Road and Nuwood Drive in Catonsville; and along Charles Street in Towson.

MDOT SHA has several major projects underway, including a few on the southwest side of the county. In Arbutus, MDOT SHA recently completed a $48 million project to replace the two I-695 inner loop bridges over Benson Avenue, Amtrak and MARC, US 1, Leeds Avenue, and the east branch of Herbert Run. The project included reconstruction of US 1 in Arbutus and the relocation of the Leeds Avenue ramp to the inner loop of I-695 to create a direct connection.

In Catonsville, MDOT SHA continues to work on a $105 million project to widen the I-695 outer loop between US 40 and MD 144 (Frederick Road). There will be some long-term ramp closures over the next year at Edmondson Avenue and Frederick Road. MDOT SHA expects to complete the widening project by the end of 2021.

MDOT SHA is also replacing the Crosby Road bridge over I-695. Construction is underway. The bridge will remain open to traffic during construction with occasional detours. The $8.2 million project will be completed in the summer of 2019.

In the Greenspring area, MDOT SHA recently completed a resurfacing and safety improvement project on I-695 between Greenspring Avenue and Falls Road. The $3.5 million project included new overhead lighting along I-695 and beneath the bridge over Greenspring Avenue.

In Parkville, MDOT SHA widened I-695 to provide new auxiliary lanes in both directions and replaced the Old Harford Road bridge over I-695. The project cost $35 million.

In Arbutus, MDOT SHA has begun the $32 million replacement of the US 1 bridge replacement over CSX. This project will be completed in 2022.

MDOT SHA last fall completed resurfacing on I-95 between the Howard County line and I-695. The $8.7 million project included overhead lighting upgrades to be completed this fall. Resurfacing is complete on the next segment of I-95 between north of I-195 and the Caton Avenue area. The $8.6 million project improves safety and ride quality for 183,000 motorists each day.

In Owings Mills, MDOT SHA is widening northbound MD 140 – an $18 million project – between Painters Mill Road and Garrison View Road. The project will be completed in the fall of 2019.

In Timonium, MDOT SHA is replacing the I-83 bridge over Padonia Road, a $25 million investment. The project will be completed in the summer of 2021. Nearby, MDOT SHA recently began a $16 million resurfacing project along MD 45 from north of Padonia Road to Wight Avenue. The project includes a Baltimore County-funded water line replacement and will be complete in 2021.

MDOT SHA completed the $8.9 million replacement of the Mount Carmel Road bridge over I-83 in Hereford.

In Towson, on I-695 at Cromwell Bridge Road, MDOT SHA recently started a $12 million drainage and environmental improvement project that will restore stream channels, drainage outfalls, and construct storm water management facilities.

The new $3.6 million roundabout at Harford Road and Glen Arm Road/Mt. Vista Road is complete and open to traffic.

In eastern Baltimore County, MDOT SHA is investing $29 million to rehabilitate the US 40 bridges over Big Gunpowder and Little Gunpowder Falls. The project will be completed in summer 2021.

At MDTA, Governor Hogan’s toll rate reductions have saved Marylanders $186 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.

Secretary Rahn also encouraged Baltimore County officials to develop a highway safety plan or adopt Maryland’s. The state experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017. Maryland’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan targets the most common causes of roadway fatalities in Maryland: impaired driving; speeding; not wearing seat belts; distracted driving; and not using crosswalks. Secretary Rahn encouraged residents and officials in attendance to sign MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge, found at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.

Officials and residents met today at Baltimore County Council Chambers in Towson. The meeting was the 24th and final stop on the annual CTP tour. Meetings were held at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. To view the full CTP tour schedule, visit: www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP/2018_CTP_Tour/Index.html. To view the Draft CTP, visit: www.ctp.maryland.gov.

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.

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