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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 8, 2018

Contact:
MDOT Public Affairs

Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
ehenson@mdot.maryland.gov

Brandi Bottalico, 410-865-1030
bbottalico1@mdot.maryland.gov

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

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Officials Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Frederick, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Frederick 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 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 Greg Slater and District Engineer John Concannon from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Field Operations Director Rhashad Johnson from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

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, transportation officials announced funding for Frederick County’s local priorities, including: $43 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for fiscal 2019–2024, which includes an additional $4 million grant recently awarded by the governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $40,000 for the Frederick Police Department. Because Frederick County officials signed the HUR application at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, the county received the funds two weeks early.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Frederick County through inter-city bus service, Commuter Bus and MARC train services, and by providing $3.4 million in operating and capital grants to support the local bus service, TransIt. Local transit funding will include three small buses and ongoing preventive maintenance. Additionally, $195,200 in funding will be provided to nonprofit organizations that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

MDOT MTA continues to make improvements to the MARC system and recently acquired eight new MARC locomotives and deployed ticket vending machines. Additionally, the 63 MARC III railcars are being overhauled. The project includes upgraded seats, communications, air brakes, HVAC, and doors. The project is underway and is expected to be completed in 2020. Additionally, In September, MDOT MTA deployed mobile ticketing for all MDOT MTA transit services to provide more fare options to riders.

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 passenger records in 37 of the previous 38 months.

On the highway side, Secretary Rahn noted that under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland is continuing 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 Frederick County.

The new $73 million US 15 interchange at Monocacy Boulevard and Christopher’s Crossing opened recently. Improvements include: connecting Christopher’s Crossing and Monocacy Boulevard; creating a new east-west route through northern Frederick; and constructing a park-and-ride lot to be served by MDOT MTA Commuter Bus service to Montgomery County, set to open next summer.

MDOT SHA last fall began the $86 million reconstruction of the I-270 interchange at MD 85. The project, anticipated to be completed in 2022, includes:

  • MD 85 widening between Spectrum Drive and Crestwood Boulevard;
  • a new I-270 bridge over MD 85; and
  • a new interchange, replacing the current configuration.

MDOT SHA next spring will begin construction of a new, $18 million, two-lane MD 180 bridge over US 15, parallel to the existing bridge. Once complete, the two bridges will carry a total of four lanes over US 15 from Solarex Court to west of Swallowtail Drive. It also will provide bicycle and pedestrian accommodations over the bridge and through the project corridor. Design work will be completed this fall.

Recently, MDOT SHA began construction to rehabilitate the MD 28 bridge over the Monocacy River. The $7 million project addresses another one of the 69 structurally deficient bridges that Governor Larry Hogan identified in June 2015. A temporary traffic signal will be installed to alternate traffic across the bridge during construction. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019.

Also, as part of Governor Hogan’s commitment to eliminate structurally deficient bridges in Maryland, MDOT SHA is investing $14 million to replace the 87-year-old MD 355 Urbana Pike bridge over CSX railroad. Construction is underway and traffic has shifted onto a temporary bridge. In addition to replacing the bridge, SHA is installing an 8-foot sidewalk and bike compatible shoulders on the bridge; and pedestrian trails on both sides of the CSX tracks to enhance access to the Monocacy National Battlefield.

MDOT SHA is resurfacing seven miles of westbound I-70 from MD 75 to Monocacy River Bridge. The $5 million project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

MDOT SHA is working on a $4 million project to improve safety on US 15 between Hansonville Road and Hessong Bridge Road. The project will restrict vehicles from crossing US 15 at the Devilbiss Bridge Road/Bartgis Road intersection. Devilbiss Road and Bartgis traffic will turn right on US 15, proceed to the next intersection and make a U-turn. These turns will significantly reduce crashes on US 15 in this area. The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019.

In Middletown, an $18 million project is underway to reconstruct sidewalks and roadway features along US 40 Alternate. The project is moving forward with a $4.8 million contribution from the town.

The City of Frederick was awarded $686,000 in Transportation Alternatives funding to design and construct elements of the Golden Mile Multimodal Access Project, including 1¼ miles of shared-use path along the north side of West Patrick Street between Baughmans Lane and Waverly Drive.

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.

Transportation officials encouraged Frederick County to develop a highway safety plan or adopt Maryland’s. Maryland 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 in attendance to sign MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.

Officials and residents met today at Winchester Hall in Frederick. The meeting was the 22nd stop on the annual CTP tour, which is scheduled to conclude November 15 in Baltimore County. Meetings are planned at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. For the complete CTP tour schedule with dates, times and locations visit: http://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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