FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 1, 2021
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
Revenue increases support investments in transportation systems across Maryland
HANOVER, MD – The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) today released its Draft FY 2022 – FY 2027 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details MDOT's $16.4 billion six-year capital budget. The Draft CTP reflects a $1.2 billion increase compared to the $15.2 billion Final FY 2021 – FY 2026 CTP released in January. With a focus on system preservation, major projects and planning and engineering, this $16.4 billion budget is on par with the record $16.4 billion transportation investment in the FY 2019 – FY 2024 CTP.
“As promised, we crafted this budget to invest in preserving our aging infrastructure, delivering projects to support Maryland's economic recovery, and creating a shelf of projects for the next generation," said Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. “This approach to infrastructure investment allows us to maintain a state of good repair and be ready to quickly move projects into construction with any new federal transportation funding."
The Draft CTP outlines investments in each of MDOT's transportation business units funded by the Transportation Trust Fund, including: Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA), Maryland Port Administration (MPA), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), State Highway Administration (SHA) and The Secretary's Office (TSO).
MDOT will hold meetings with each of Maryland's 23 counties and Baltimore City from September 20 through November 10 to discuss the Draft CTP with local officials and the public. The local jurisdictions hosting each meeting will determine if the meetings will be in person, virtual or offer both options. For the date and location of the meetings, here is the CTP Tour schedule.
More than half of the $16.4 billion is budgeted for preserving aging infrastructure. This funding is critical to bring roads, bridges, rail, port and airport facilities, and other infrastructure into a state of good repair.
Major projects continue to move forward with funding in the Draft CTP as well, including the Purple Line, American Legion Bridge, Howard Street Tunnel, the A/B Connector at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the I-695/I-70 “Triple Bridges" and I-695 Traffic Relief Plan. These major projects contribute directly to the region's economic recovery.
Planning and engineering for future projects comprises another significant portion of the Draft CTP. Those projects cover every region and mode of travel across the state, including:
- SHA – A full interchange at I-495/I-95 at the Greenbelt Metro Station and improvements to MD 197 in Prince George's County, US 15 in Frederick County, MD 90 in Ocean City, US 219 North in Garrett County;
- MTA – Study of two new transit corridors in the Baltimore region and the MARC Penn-Camden Connector;
- MTA – Redevelopment of the Eastern Bus Facility, including charging for an expanded electric vehicle fleet;
- MAA – Expansion of electric shuttle bus fleet; and
- MPA – Continuous dredge replacement to accommodate the supersized ships that use the Port of Baltimore.
While future federal transportation funding is still being determined, previous federal funding has been critical to the economic vitality of MDOT throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest drivers of the revenue increase in the Draft CTP include COVID relief funds totaling $841 million and revenue growth totaling $488 million.
The Draft CTP budgets $7.3 billion to SHA. Maintaining Maryland's highway system in a state of good repair is SHA's highest priority. Through improvements involving area-wide pavement resurfacing, signing, new signalization and bridge-deck replacements and repairs, SHA continues to deliver projects focused on preserving Maryland's existing system.
Key new system preservation projects include deck repairs for a series of bridges at the I-695/I-95 interchange, the replacement of I-70 bridges over Crystal Falls Drive and rehabilitation of a series of bridges at and east of I-81 both in Washington County.
This CTP includes $6.8 billion for transit. MTA continues to make significant capital investments in state of good repair projects to ensure the transit system remains a safe and reliable transportation option for the region.
Some of the key projects in the Draft CTP include: New dedicated bus lanes; bus stops and transit hubs, including ADA; improvements; wayfinding; and bike and shared mobility. The Draft CTP also includes: renovations at the Odenton and Laurel MARC stations; light rail systems and trackwork overhauls and replacements; Metro interlocks, systems and station upgrades; redevelopment of the Eastern Bus Facility to support the electric vehicle fleet and updates of other bus facilities; additional funding for zero-emission bus procurements and associated infrastructure; fare collection system and equipment replacement; and elevator and escalator rehabilitation.
MTA's Statewide Transit Plan continues to move forward, along with the first phase of the Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan. The regional plan includes the study of two new transit corridors: an east-west transit route between Bayview through downtown Baltimore to greater Ellicott City in Howard County, and a north-south transit route between Towson in Baltimore County and downtown Baltimore.
In addition, MTA is fulfilling its funding commitments to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority by providing $2.7 billion in this CTP.
The Draft CTP includes $1.1 billion for the MPA. The Port of Baltimore will benefit from planning, engineering and construction investments in a project to reconstruct the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore. The project will allow double-stacked containers to travel to and from the Port of Baltimore, boosting business and eliminating a critical freight bottleneck on the East Coast.
Investments in the dredging of the shipping channels leading to the Port of Baltimore will allow for heavy cargo vessels to access the port – and for the dredged sediment to be repurposed in a variety of ways across the state.
The Draft CTP also includes funds for the reconstruction of Berth 3 at Dundalk Marine Terminal to better accommodate larger and heavier pieces of farm and construction machinery. In addition, the Draft CTP includes funds for MPA to continue expanding the Cox Creek, Masonville and Poplar Island dredged material containment facilities, as well as begin the mid-Chesapeake Bay Island ecosystem restoration project.
This CTP includes $885.2 million for MAA. MAA's capital program remains focused on improving facilities and services for customers while creating opportunities for domestic and international air service. System preservation and resiliency are major focal points for MAA's budget.
MAA is moving forward with a major, multi-year terminal improvement to the center of operations for Southwest Airlines, the largest airline partner at BWI Marshall. The Concourse A/B Connector and Baggage Handling System Project will transform a major portion of the airport, creating an enhanced travel experience for passengers and supporting future growth of Southwest.
Along with the A/B Connector project, MAA also is moving forward on major site preparation and utility work that will support construction of a major aircraft maintenance facility.
The MVA is budgeted to receive $112.7 million. The Draft CTP includes funding for a major renovation at the Glen Burnie MVA headquarters.
MVA offers more transactions online than ever before, and those services will be enhanced with the final rollout of MVA's IT modernization project known as Customer Connect in December. Phase 1 was completed in July 2020. Phase 2 will include driver services, driver enforcement, investigations, and financial services.
At full deployment, Customer Connect will consolidate existing IT systems at MVA into a single portal. For customers, this means greater access to their information online and a more secure product.
MVA's Highway Safety Office continues to push its overarching safety campaign called Be the Driver, which focuses on a driver's responsibility behind the wheel.
For TSO, the Draft CTP budgets $135.3 million. TSO added funding to support some key grants and programs that support MDOT, including $25 million for a new five-year transportation planning contract and $10 million for IT preservation program funding. The budget also includes an $8.7 million grant to Prince George's County for improvements along the WMATA Metro Blue Line corridor.
The MDTA budget totals $2.78 billion. Like tolling agencies around the nation, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) also experienced impacts to its financial outlook as a result of lower traffic volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff regularly looks for cost saving opportunities within its operating and capital budgets, which are both funded solely from toll revenues at the agency's eight facilities. This has allowed system preservation work to continue around the state.
Work is underway on key projects across the state, including the Nice/Middleton Bridge in Southern Maryland and I-95 Express Toll Lanes northeast of Baltimore. While MDTA implemented all-electronic tolling statewide in 2020, construction for highway-speed all-electronic tolling on new gantries - and removal or partial removal of existing toll plazas - is underway at the Fort McHenry Tunnel, JFK Memorial Highway and the Nice/Middleton Bridge. A study is underway for the I-895/Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Toll Plaza and Interchange Improvements, which will allow MDTA to bring highway speed all-electronic tolling to the Harbor Tunnel.
While travel on Maryland's transportation system dropped to historic lows early in the pandemic, volumes have reached – and even surpassed – pre-pandemic levels in 2021.
In the second week of August, traffic on Maryland highways was down just 7.9% compared to the same period in 2019. During the peak of last year's stay-at-home order, traffic volumes dropped more than 50%. By contrast, statewide truck volumes during the second week of August were up 8.2% compared to the same period in 2019.
At Maryland's toll facilities, transactions were down just 2.2% in the second week of August, compared to same period in 2019. During the peak of the stay-at-home order last year, transactions on Maryland's toll roads and bridges dropped 58%.
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport passenger travel was down 26.5% during the second week of August compared to same period in 2019. Travel at BWI was down more than 95% during the height of the pandemic.
At the Port of Baltimore, cruises are set to begin September 12. At Seagirt Marine Terminal, container volumes were up 10% in June 2021 compared to June 2019.
Transit ridership for the MTA was down 50% during the second week of August compared to the same time in 2019, an improvement over the 77% drop seen during the peak of the stay-at-home order.
To monitor travel trends in Maryland, check out the link.
For full details on the FY 2022 – FY 2027, check out the CTP online at ctp.maryland.gov.