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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 22, 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 HARFORD COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Deputy Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Bel Air, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports today met with Harford 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.

“This CTP program outlines our balanced approach to transportation by funding transit and continuing to deliver on the largest construction program in the state’s history,” said Deputy Secretary Ports. “We have completed top priority projects across the state and continue to break records at the port and airport. Customer service is a Hogan administration top priority and at MDOT MVA alone we’re offering more services than ever while decreasing wait times.”

MDOT team members representing the agency’s business units were: Deputy Secretary Ports; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Local Transit Support Director Travis Johnston from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Wendy Wolcott from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Executive Director Kevin Reigrut from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).

Deputy Secretary Ports 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 Harford County’s local priorities, including: $28.8 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for fiscal 2019–2024, which includes an additional $2.6 million in grants recently awarded by the governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $73,000 for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, $11,000 for the Aberdeen Police Department, $11,000 for the Bel Air Police Department, and $4,000 for the Havre de Grace Police Department. Because Harford County officials signed the HUR grant application at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, the county received those funds two weeks early.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in Harford County through MARC Train service, the operation of four Commuter Bus routes, and $3.3 million in operating and capital grants to support the local community. The county’s capital projects include two medium bus replacements, ongoing preventive maintenance, and the Rideshare program. Additionally, $412,000 in fiscal 2018–2019 funding will be provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.

MDOT MTA continues to make improvements to the MARC system, recently acquired eight new MARC locomotives and deployed ticket vending machines. Additionally, 63 MARC III railcars are being overhauled. The project includes upgraded seats, communications, air brakes and HVAC. The project is underway and is expected to be completed in 2020.

In September, MDOT MTA deployed mobile ticketing for all MDOT MTA services to provide more fare options for riders. In addition, MDOT MTA provided technical assistance to Aberdeen to successfully apply for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funding. Proposed improvements for this funding include new sidewalks, upgraded pedestrian light fixtures and bicycle racks at the MARC Aberdeen Station. The grant kicked off in January 2018, and MDOT MTA, Aberdeen, and Amtrak continue to coordinate on the scope of the project to ensure consistency between ongoing planning and construction efforts.

Deputy Secretary Ports 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.

BWI Marshall is experiencing 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 when it exceeded 26 million passengers. The airport through July set passenger records in 36 of the previous 37 months.

On the highway side, Deputy Secretary Ports noted that under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland is delivering 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 advertised for construction.

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

MDOT SHA is investing $29 million to rehabilitate the US 40 bridges over Big Gunpowder and Little Gunpowder Falls. The project is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2021.

On MD 22, MDOT SHA has completed $37 million worth of improvements at Paradise Road and at Beards Hill Road. MDOT SHA also is working with the City of Aberdeen to install a new gateway sign.

Last year, MDOT SHA began construction at the US 40 intersection at MD 7/MD 159 near Aberdeen. The project marks the start of Phase Two of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) improvements. Phase One, completed in 2015, widened MD 7 at US 40 to create new turn lanes.

Phase Two, at a cost of $24 million, will widen US 40 to create four eastbound through-lanes toward Aberdeen and Aberdeen Proving Ground. It also creates three westbound through-lanes toward Edgewood. MDOT SHA is widening the US 40 bridge over Cranberry Run to accommodate the new lanes. Additionally, MDOT SHA is working on drainage structures and new water mains. Phase Two is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019.

MDOT SHA has completed several resurfacing projects and has many underway or nearing completion. MDOT SHA:

  • completed one mile of MD 543 between Pulaski Highway and Brass Mill Road;
  • completed MD 24 between Sharon Road and the Rocks State Park parking area;
  • completed nearly three miles of MD 23 and MD 165; and
  • has nearly completed MD 7 between MD 24 and Abingdon Road.

MDOT SHA also is improving MD 22 in Churchville between MD 136 and Prospect Mill Road. The $7.3 million project includes resurfacing, widening, and BGE gas utility relocation. MDOT SHA anticipates the project will be completed by June 2019.

MDOT SHA recently completed intersection safety improvements to MD 23 at Grafton Shop Road as well as to MD 147 at Connolly Road. In addition, MDOT SHA is nearing completion of a $2.5 million project to improve drainage along MD 623 from Franklin Church Road to Glen Cove Road.

In Edgewood, MDOT SHA has completed a $6.6 million project to improve MD 755 from Willoughby Beach Road to the Edgewood MARC station.

MDOT SHA also has intersection improvement projects to improve traffic under various stages of design including:

  • MD 136 at MD 543;
  • MD 24 at MD 755; and
  • MD 147 at MD 152.

In Aberdeen, MDOT SHA is in the design phase of a safety and resurfacing project on MD 132 from MD 462 to US 40 and anticipates construction in the fall of 2020.

Harford County was awarded $4 million in Transportation Alternatives funding to construct the long-anticipated 2.5-mile Ma and Pa Connector Trail. This connection will give residents the opportunity to walk and bike from Edgeley Grove Park in Fallston into Bel Air.

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 Harford County for adopting the first Strategic Highway Safety Plan in the state. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017. The 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. Deputy Secretary Ports urged residents to sign Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn’s Traffic Safety Pledge, found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.

Officials and residents met today at the Harford County Council Chambers in Bel Air. The meeting was the 16th 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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