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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 2, 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 KENT COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Chestertown, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Kent 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, State Legislative Officer Tom Curtin, Regional Planner Ian Beam, and Rail Program and Policy Manager Harry Romano from The Secretary’s Office; Field Operations Director Rhashad Johnson and District Manager Charles Howell from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Director of Planning and Programming Holly Arnold from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Michele Gross from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Secretary Rahn outlined key updates on the 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 Kent County’s local priorities, including: $5.4 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes the additional $486,000 grant recently awarded by the Governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $9,945 for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office. Because Kent 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 Kent County by providing $1.1 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit operation in conjunction with Caroline and Talbot counties. These funds will provide: replacement of one medium-duty bus, a Transportation Development Plan and ongoing preventive maintenance. Additionally, $195,000 in funding is provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.

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 number one 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 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 July set passenger records in 36 out 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 also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Kent County. MDOT SHA is dedicating $12.3 million in funds for resurfacing projects throughout Kent County. Crews already have completed 12 miles of improvements, including resurfacing along MD 213 and MD 292.

MDOT SHA also is planning 12 miles of improvements along MD 445, MD 566, MD 674 and MD 289 during fiscal 2019. Crews are currently rehabilitating the US 301 northbound bridge over MD 290. This $3.2 million project is anticipated to be completed this fall.

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 encouraged Kent County officials to develop a highway safety plan or adopt Maryland’s. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017, 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 encouraged residents to sign MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge, found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.

Officials and residents met today at the Kent County Government Center in Chestertown. The meeting was the eighth 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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