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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 4, 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 ALLEGANY COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Cumberland, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Allegany 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 Christine Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Local Transit Support Director Travis Johnston from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Chief Engineer Paul Shank from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Anthony Crawford from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA).

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, transportation officials announced funding for Allegany County’s local priorities, including: $17.1 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes an additional $1.6 million grant awarded recently by the governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $8,000 for the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and $3,000 for the Cumberland Police Department. Because Allegany 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 Allegany County through inter-city bus service and provides $1.5 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. This funding includes replacement of one small cutaway bus, replacement of one medium bus and ongoing preventive maintenance. Additionally, $223,600 in Fiscal Year 2018/2019 funding will be 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 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 previous 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 major projects and system preservation projects in Allegany County.

A $9 million project to replace the structurally deficient MD 36 Bridge over Jennings Run is underway. The project includes the construction of a new pedestrian bridge along the south side of MD 36 that will span Jennings Run. Preliminary work has begun and major construction is set to begin in the spring of 2019, with a planned completion in the fall of 2019.

In Cumberland, MDOT SHA has begun a $7.2 million project to rehabilitate the Interstate 68 bridge over MD 639. This project is anticipated to be open to traffic in the fall of 2020.

Crews this summer installed warning beacons on MD 51 at Mexico Farm Road and PPG Road to improve safety. About 11,000 vehicles pass through this area every day.

MDOT SHA is also planning a large slope-stabilization project along MD 135. The project is designed to mitigate debris slides along the MD 135 corridor.

Last year, MDOT SHA completed a $4.5 million project to replace the structurally deficient MD 47 Bridge over North Branch, just north of MD 36.

The Allegany County Board of Education was awarded $320,000 in Safe Routes to School funding to replace the closed pedestrian bridge at Bel Air Elementary School with a new bridge, restoring this pedestrian route and eliminating a bus route.

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 commended Allegany County for starting to create its own highway safety plan. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017. A 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 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 County Office Complex in Cumberland. The meeting was the 10th 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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