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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 SOMERSET COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Princess Anne, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Somerset 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 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, and Regional Planner Ian Beam from The Secretary’s Office; Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); 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 and District Engineer James Meredith from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Project Planning & Program Development Director Melissa Williams, and 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 Somerset County’s local priorities, including: $5.4 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes an additional $473,000 in grants recently awarded by the Governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $3,000 for the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office. Because Somerset 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 for Somerset County by providing the county’s transit provider, Shore Transit, with $3.8 million in operating and capital grants. These funds support the local transit operation in conjunction with Wicomico and Worcester counties. This funding includes two medium duty buses, one small bus, mobility management and ongoing preventive maintenance. Additionally, $210,000 in funding is provided to the Somerset County Commission on Aging and nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.

Secretary Rahn also touted 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 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 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.

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

MDOT SHA is progressing with $9 million in projects to resurface MDOT SHA roadways throughout Somerset County. Many of these roadways have been completed, with the remaining projects, including MD 667 from Burnettsville Road to Old Westover Marion Road, finishing up this winter.

MDOT SHA has completed a $2 million project to add a right turn lane on northbound MD 413 at Tulls Corner Road. The US 13 Bridge over the Pocomoke River is under construction to add bridge lighting and will be completed this coming winter. A $3.9 million project to replace the 85-year-old MD 364 bridge over Dividing Creek will begin construction in the summer of 2019.

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 Somerset County for beginning to create its own highway safety plan. 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. Secretary Rahn encouraged residents to sign MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge, at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.

Officials and residents met today at the County Office Complex in Princess Anne. The meeting was the seventh 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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