FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Public Affairs
David Broughton, 410-865-1029
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
Officials Outline Six-Year Draft Budget and Provide Key Project Updates
ROCKVILLE, MD (November 8, 2023) – Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld and other representatives of the Maryland Department of Transportation met today with Montgomery County officials to discuss the department's six-year Draft FY 2024-2029 Consolidated Transportation Program. The plan calls for a $21.2 billion, six-year investment to create a safer, cleaner, efficient and accessible transportation system connecting Marylanders to jobs, schools, recreation, health care and services.
“Delivering safe, reliable, equitable and sustainable transportation is critical to Maryland's economic health and the vibrancy of neighborhoods across the state. This Draft CTP is inspired by that mission," said Secretary Wiedefeld. “We know there are challenges ahead, and we are committed to fiscal responsibility and collaboration with local communities, stakeholders and elected officials as we deliver the transportation network Marylanders need and deserve."
The Draft Consolidated Transportation Program includes funding to maintain existing transportation facilities, expand transit opportunities, invest in Maryland's economy and support the state's long-term goals for mobility, safety, equity, environmental stewardship and economic growth. To view the full Draft FY 2024-2029 Consolidated Transportation Program, go to ctp.maryland.gov.
The program allocates funding for electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as investment in the transition to zero-emission transit buses and other carbon reduction and resiliency programs, establishing Maryland as national leader in addressing climate goals. The program also includes funding to promote Transit-Oriented Development to spur economic growth in transit corridors, and for projects to support Complete Streets – an initiative to make Maryland's roadways safer and more accessible for all users, and help reduce the number of roadway fatalities and injuries.
The program outlines investments in each mode funded by the Transportation Trust Fund: Maryland Aviation Administration, Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Transit Administration, Motor Vehicle Administration, State Highway Administration and The Secretary's Office, as well as Maryland's investment in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The plan also includes an additional $2.7 billion investment planned by the Maryland Transportation Authority. Receiving no funds from the Transportation Trust Fund, the Maryland Transportation Authority's toll facilities are fully financed, constructed, operated, maintained, improved and protected with toll revenues paid by customers using those facilities.
In addition to Secretary Wiedefeld, officials attending Thursday's meeting included State Highway Administrator William Pines; Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer; Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold; Maryland Transportation Authority Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams and Maryland Aviation Administration Executive Director Ricky Smith. Also attending was Drew Morrison, Acting Director of the Washington Area Transit Office, which oversees the department's interaction with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Maryland Transit Administrator Arnold said the state is contributing nearly $36 million in operating and capital grants through the agency to support local transit operations in Montgomery County.
She updated officials on the status of the Purple Line light rail project between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George's County. Construction is now more than 58% complete, with underground utility relocations 98% complete. There are more than 60 active construction sites along the alignment with about 1,100 workers. This includes excavation at the Bethesda shaft where the Purple Line will connect to the WMATA Metro Red Line.
Regarding MARC rail, she said the agency's MARC Brunswick Line Study is evaluating expansion opportunities that could include additional train capacity and/or frequency. As part of that study, the agency recently released a Brunswick Study Technical Report as well as results of an online survey. The agency is also talking with neighboring states to explore possible run-through service to Virginia, as well as ways to close the gap between MARC and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority service. Administrator Arnold encouraged the public to take part in the ongoing update of the MARC Growth and Transformation Plan. The agency is seeking public comment through December 4.
The State Highway Administration opened segments of the two-lane MD 97 Brookeville Bypass earlier this year, and will complete the project by the end of the year. State Highway Administrator Pines noted the successful partnership with the county and local officials on the project, which improves safety and access for commuters and residents of the historic town.
He said the agency is working to improve commutes along the I-270 corridor as well through the I-270 Innovative Congestion Management Project, which installed metered ramps and other improvements along southbound I-270 in 2021. He said data estimates show up to 31 minutes in morning peak-travel time savings for motorists traveling along mainline I-270 from MD 80 to I-495. Completion of the system is expected in 2024.
In August, Governor Wes Moore announced a federal grant application to help address mobility and access challenges along the American Legion Bridge and I-270 corridor. Administrator Pines said the state is focused on engagement, responsiveness and multi-modal solutions as it looks to improve mobility and access in the National Capital region. The state is committed to working with all its partners, and will host a series of four open house meetings on November 13, 15 and 16, and also December 2, to gather public input. Everyone is encouraged to take part. Details on the meetings are available here.
Administrator Pines said the agency has completed a number of pedestrian and bicycle safety projects in the county as part of its emphasis on safe access for all roadway users. Projects have included signals that prioritize pedestrian crossings, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps, high visibility crosswalks and other features. In the coming weeks, crews will complete a new signal with a high visibility pedestrian crosswalk on MD 124 (Midcounty Highway) at Pier Point Place in Gaithersburg.
Last month, Governor Moore announced more than $25 million federal and state grants for 40 bicycle, pedestrian and trail projects across Maryland. The State Highway Administration oversees the Recreational Trails Program and Transportation Alternatives Program, which announced these awards:
- $679,000 for a Forest Glen Road sidewalk and pedestrian access project in Silver Spring;
- $400,000 to complete the design of a 10-foot-wide ADA bicycle link from Industrial Drive to West Deer Park Road in Gaithersburg;
- $224,000 to design bicycle access features along Fleet and Monroe streets in Rockville; and
- $45,000 for a boardwalk project in segments of the Northwest Branch Trail.
Additionally, the Maryland Department of Transportation administers the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program, named in memory of the late Kim Lamphier, a Montgomery County native and longtime advocate of bicycling safety. Grants awarded through the program this year include:
- $465,000 for final design of the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Takoma Park;
- $176,000 for final design of the I-270 / NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) shared-use path in Gaithersburg; and
- $88,000 to the City of Rockville for a study and preliminary design for bicycle facilities along Halpine Road and East Jefferson Street.
Washington Area Transit Office Acting Director Morrison told officials the Maryland Department of Transportation plays a major role in supporting the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) services along with Virginia, the District of Columbia and the federal government. Maryland contributes about $1 billion a year to WMATA from the state's Transportation Trust Fund.
The department also assists transit-oriented development at Metro stations in Maryland. Currently, the department is supporting studies at the North Bethesda, Shady Grove, Silver Spring, Twinbrook and Wheaton Metro stations in Montgomery County, and the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program includes $1 million a year in continued commitment to joint development efforts. Acting Director Morrison said these studies further support the Moore-Miller Administration's goal of making transit a catalyst to lift neighborhoods, boost the economy, create jobs and connect residents with opportunity.
Officials noted other allocations in the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program, including:
- $168,000 in highway safety grants to organizations including the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and the Montgomery County, Gaithersburg and Rockville police departments; and
- $182,000 for Montgomery County Airpark to support obstruction removal efforts.
The Montgomery County meeting was part of the Maryland Department of Transportation's tour of all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to discuss the funding plan and receive input from local officials and the public. The tour continues into November. Dates and locations for upcoming sessions can be found here. The schedule is subject to change and will be updated as needed. Following the tour, the Draft FY 2024-2029 Consolidated Transportation Program will be finalized and submitted in January for consideration during the 2024 General Assembly session.