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
EASTON, MD (November 7, 2023) – Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld and other representatives of the Maryland Department of Transportation met today with Talbot 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 and maintained with toll revenues.
In addition to Secretary Wiedefeld, officials attending Tuesday's meeting included State Highway Administrator William Pines; Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer; Maryland Transit Administration Local Transit Support Director Travis Johnston; Maryland Aviation Administration Regional Aviation Director Ashish Solanki; Maryland Transportation Authority Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams; and Maryland Port Administration and Environment Deputy Executive Director Bob Munroe.
State Highway Administrator Pines said the agency has initiated a $1.5 million study of MD 328 to assess potential safety and capacity improvements along a 1.6-mile stretch between US 50 and Black Dog Alley. A public meeting is tentatively scheduled for this winter.
On US 50 at MD 322, the state is designing a $600,000 project for new lighting at the intersection to improve visibility and safety. Also on MD 322, at Glenwood Avenue, the State Highway Administration is planning signal improvements and pedestrian upgrades, including a “rail-trail" link. The project will be ready to advertise for bids in 2024.
The State Highway Administration is making several other traffic management and signal improvements in the county, including a new signal at US 50 and Chapel Road that will be activated by the end of the month; and two projects slated for 2024: signal reconstruction at US 50 and MD 309 and upgrades to the flashing signal at MD 331 and Black Dog Alley to make it a full signal.
Administrator Pines also said Governor Wes Moore recently announced more than $25 million federal and state grants for 40 bicycle, pedestrian and trail projects across Maryland, including two from the Maryland Department of Transportation's Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program for local projects:
- $48,000 for final design of a 1.25-mile extension of the St. Michaels Nature/Bike Trail; and
- $30,000 for study and preliminary design of a rail trail connecting parks in the Town of Oxford.
Maryland Transportation Authority Planning and Program Development Director Williams updated officials on the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study, which is in Tier 2 of the National Environmental Protection Act process. The study is analyzing ways to improve reliability, mobility and safety across the Bay and along US 50/301. The federally required Tier 2 study is focused on Corridor 7, the corridor selected during the Tier 1 study. That corridor is two miles wide and runs 22 miles from the Severn River Bridge in Anne Arundel County to the U.S. 50/U.S. 301 split in Queen Anne's County. It includes the site of the existing Bay Bridge.
This year, the Maryland Transportation Authority has engaged the public through community events, an online transit and bike/pedestrian listening meeting and in-person and online public meetings. The agency plans to share alternatives in 2024, followed by announcement of a recommended preferred alternative in 2025. The Tier 2 study is expected to conclude in winter 2026/2027. Details about the study and ways to provide public input are available online at baycrossingstudy.com.
Officials noted other allocations in the Draft Consolidated Transportation Program related to Talbot County, including:
- $1.1 million in operating and capital grants to support Delmarva Community Transit;
- $123,000 in a Statewide Transit Innovation Grant to Delmarva Community Service for installation of a propane station for propane powered vehicles, enabling Delmarva Community Transit to transition to a low-emission fleet;
- $24,000 in highway safety grants to law enforcement agencies and organizations including the Easton Police Department and Talbot County Sheriff's Office; and
- $525,000 for Easton Airport to support the airport's runway extension project.
The Talbot 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. Dates and locations for upcoming sessions can be found here.
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.