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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 28, 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 HOWARD COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR

TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES

Transportation Secretary Announced Local Grants and Key Project Updates

(Clarksville, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Howard 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 and Regional Planner Dan Janousek from The Secretary’s Office; Administrator Christine Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Planning and Programming Director Holly Arnold from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer John Concannon from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Administrator Ricky Smith from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Planning and Programming Director Melissa Williams, and Government Relations Assistant Manager Clayton Fischer 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, Secretary Rahn announced funding local priorities, including: $21.3 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes an additional $1.7 million in grants recently awarded by the governor. Because Howard County officials signed the HUR grant applications at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference in Ocean City, the county received the funds two weeks early.

MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Howard County through the operation of MARC Train, eight Commuter Bus routes, one BaltimoreLink Express Bus route, and $4.8 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. MDOT MTA also is providing $113,800 in funding between two nonprofit organizations in the county to support their transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities.

Additionally, MDOT MTA has recently provided $2 million in planning funding for the study of the US 29 Bus Rapid Transit project. Howard County also has been awarded its full funding request of $50,000 through the new Statewide Transit Innovation Grant program, which will support implementation of a modern mobile fare payment system for the Regional Transportation Agency of Central Maryland (RTA).

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 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 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 had set passenger records in 36 of the past 37 months.

On the highway side, Secretary Rahn said 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.

Secretary Rahn also provided an update on important major projects and system preservation projects in Howard County. MDOT SHA broke ground in the summer of 2017 on the widening of MD 32 between MD 108 and Linden Church Road. The $37.5 million project is expected to be substantially completed by the end of the year, with final resurfacing set for spring 2019. Howard County is contributing $16.5 million toward the project.

Phase II of MD 32 improvements between Linden Church Road and Interstate 70 is progressing on schedule. MDOT SHA has advertised and is reviewing proposals from design/build contractors, a process that is expected to wrap up later this fall. Construction of this phase of the project, estimated to cost $125 million, is set to begin next spring. The project aims to improve safety and mobility along this important regional corridor.

MDOT SHA is replacing the bridge deck on the westbound US 40 bridge deck over I-70. The $3.4 million project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019. MDOT SHA also is resurfacing MD 100 from the Anne Arundel County line to east of Snowden River Parkway. The $3.4 million project is slated for completion in the summer of 2019.

Construction is underway at the MD 97 and Burntwood Road intersection. The $3.3 million project will provide new turn lanes for drivers. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of November.

In addition, MDOT SHA will open a new exit ramp from northbound US 29 to westbound MD 175 by the end of October. The $2.6 million project eliminates a weave on northbound US 29 between the loop ramps, improving safety and traffic flow.

The widening of MD 103 between US 29 and Long Gate Parkway also has been funded for construction and is now under design. It will be advertised in the fall of 2019 and construction is set to begin in the spring of 2020.

At US 1 and Kit Kat Road, $1.3 million in safety improvements are under construction. Scheduled for completion by the spring of 2019, the project includes construction of a northbound deceleration lane to facilitate tractor-trailer turning movements and adding a traffic signal.

Additionally, Howard County was awarded $220,000 in Transportation Alternatives funding to design a shared-use path, sidewalks and crosswalks along Dobbin and McGaw roads in Columbia.

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.

Secretary Rahn commended Howard County officials for taking the first steps toward creating a highway safety plan. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017. 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 and residents met today at River Hill High School in Clarksville. The meeting was the fourth stop on the annual 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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