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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 30, 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 CHARLES COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(La Plata, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Charles 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; District Manager Paul Taylor from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish Solanki from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Corren Johnson from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); and Executive Director Kevin Reigrut 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, transportation officials announced funding for Charles County’s local priorities, including: $16.5 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for fiscal 2019–2024, which includes an additional $1.4 million in grants recently awarded by the governor; and highway safety grants funded through MDOT MVA, including $92,000 for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. Because Charles County officials signed the HUR grant application at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, the county received the funds two weeks early.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Charles County through the operation of five Commuter Bus routes and by providing $3.72 million in operating and capital grants to support the local VanGo transit operation. Local transit funding includes five medium-duty bus replacements, ongoing preventive maintenance, and the Rideshare program. Additionally, $219,200 in fiscal 2018–2019 funding is provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.

MDOT MTA continues to work on a new Charles County transit facility to support the VanGo operation. Phase II, which includes final site selection, cost estimates, and preliminary NEPA and Title VI analysis, is nearing completion. The design and engineering phase is set to begin in fiscal year 2020.

In addition, a $177,000 Statewide Transit Innovation Grant will fund the installation of security camera systems at the Waldorf and La Plata Park and Ride facilities. MDOT MTA also continues to invest in technology improvements. In September, MDOT MTA deployed mobile ticketing for Commuter Bus routes to provide more fare options to riders.

Secretary Rahn 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 fiscal 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 has experienced 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 continues 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.

MDOT officials also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Charles County.

Last spring, MDOT SHA completed a $6.3 million replacement of the MD 234 bridge over Gilbert Swamp Run, announced by Governor Hogan in February 2016. The project was completed months ahead of schedule. MDOT SHA also completed a $3.4 million project to rehabilitate the MD 6 bridge over Zekiah Swamp near La Plata. Landscaping will continue throughout the fall.

MDOT SHA last spring began a $17 million replacement of the MD 254 Bridge over Neale Sound, connecting to Cobb Island. Crews will build the new bridge next to the existing bridge. MDOT SHA is maintaining traffic during construction. The project is expected to be completed by late 2020.

Smart signal construction will be completed this winter along US 301 from Chadds Ford Drive to MD 227; MD 5 Business from Post Office Road to US 301; and MD 228 from Western Parkway to US 301.

Over the next two years, MDOT SHA will complete $10 million worth of roadway resurfacing projects across Charles County, $450,000 of guardrail improvements, and $100,000 of pedestrian mobility and safety improvements.

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

Officials and residents met today at the Charles County government building in La Plata. The meeting was the 19th 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 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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