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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 1, 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 ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Annapolis, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Anne Arundel 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 the 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, Government Affairs Director Jeff Tosi, and Regional Planner Dan Janousek from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Christine Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Kevin Quinn and Planning and Programming Director Holly Arnold from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Corren Johnson from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Harbor Development Director Chris Correale and Legislative Manager Jennifer Guthrie from the MDOT Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA); Chief Engineer Paul Shank from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Executive Director Kevin Reigrut, Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams, Michele Gross from the 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, officials announced funding for Anne Arundel County’s local priorities, including: $48.7 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes an additional $4.2 million in grants recently awarded by the governor. Because Anne Arundel County officials signed the HUR grant applications at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference in Ocean City, the county received those funds two weeks early.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Anne Arundel County, including the operation of 11 Commuter Bus routes to Washington, D.C. and two to Baltimore; MARC Train service from Baltimore to Washington; Light RailLink service; and six LocalLink bus routes. This year MDOT MTA also is providing $3.16 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit systems in the county and Annapolis. This funding includes two medium-duty transit buses for the county, and two small paratransit buses and ongoing maintenance for Annapolis. In addition, $1.43 million is supporting nonprofit organizations that transport seniors and people with disabilities.

MDOT MTA continues to make improvements to the MARC system and has recently acquired eight new MARC locomotives and deployed ticket vending machines. Sixty-three MARC III railcars are being overhauled with upgraded seats, communications, air brakes, HVAC, and doors. The project is expected to be completed in 2020. Improvements to the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport MARC Station passenger area are underway as well, including upgrades to passenger amenities in the waiting area and the ticket office. MDOT MTA continues to make investments in technology by providing mobile ticketing for all services and partnering with Transit App to provide real-time transit information for riders.

In addition, MDOT MTA’s vehicles are being replaced and overhauled to improve the customer experience with comfortable, safe, and reliable vehicles. MDOT MTA recently purchased 140 clean diesel buses and ensured a long-term commitment through a five-year replacement contract. Additionally, Light RailLink vehicles are undergoing a $160 million comprehensive overhaul. 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.

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 FY 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.

At BWI Marshall, Secretary Rahn highlighted steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to 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 set passenger records through July in 36 of the past 37 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.

Officials provided an update on major projects and system preservation projects in Anne Arundel County. MDOT SHA recently completed High Friction Surface Treatments on ramps at the I-695 and MD 295 interchange, the northbound I-97 ramp to MD 100 westbound, and the southbound I-97 ramp to MD 100 eastbound. These ramps provide greater tire traction and driver control on curves and have resulted in about a cumulative 74-percent decrease in guardrail crashes at these locations.

As Governor Larry Hogan announced in the fall of 2017, a project to add an additional eastbound lane on US 50 between MD 70 and MD 2, across the Severn River Bridge, was completed in May 2018, one month ahead of schedule. This $25 million project connected the two existing Severn River bridges and has improved traffic flow along US 50.

MDOT also remains committed to improving MD 175 near Fort George G. Meade. The $19 million intersection project at Mapes Road and Reece Road will be complete in the summer of 2019. Also, the widening of MD 175, between Disney Road and Reece Road, began in the spring of 2017 and is anticipated to be complete in the spring of 2020. This $20 million project included a $10 million federal TIGER grant.

Additionally, a $77 million project to reconstruct the interchange at MD 175 and MD 295 will include roadway widening and improvements from McCarron Court to National Business Parkway. Utility relocations have begun, and construction will start this winter.

MDOT SHA completed Smart Signal installation on MD 2 from Hammonds Lane to 11th Avenue in Brooklyn Park in February 2018. Additional Smart Signal installation along MD 2 continues from Harbor Center to Tarragon Lane and from MD 450 to St. Stephens Church Road. This work will be complete this winter.

In the next two years, MDOT SHA will complete $44 million of roadway resurfacing, $2.6 million of guardrail improvements, and over $3 million in pedestrian mobility and safety improvements in Anne Arundel County. The county also received $145,000 in Safe Routes to School funding for its bicycle safety training initiative.

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.

Officials commended Anne Arundel County officials for taking the first steps toward creating a highway safety plan. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017. 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. Residents in attendance were encouraged to sign Secretary Rahn’s Traffic Safety Pledge, found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge

Officials and residents met today at The Arundel Center in Annapolis. The meeting was the fifth 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 a complete list of the 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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