10/04/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/04/2019 08:38
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 4, 2019
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
MDOT OFFICIALS MEET WITH GARRETT COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES
Transportation Officials Announce Key Project Updates
(Cumberland, MD) - Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr. met with Garrett County officials today to discuss the Draft FY 2020-2025 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 $15.3 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore, and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI Marshall). Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority's $3.1 billion in additional investments in Maryland's toll roads and bridges.
'We have delivered a record program in record time and will continue improving our services to Marylanders,' said MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
In 2015, the Hogan Administration outlined a program of historic investment in infrastructure. Over the last four years, MDOT has completed 1,069 projects totaling nearly $5.9 billion.
Deputy Secretary Lewis outlined key updates on transportation investments in Garrett County and across Maryland. Statewide, there are 718 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) construction projects underway, with a value of $7.2 billion.
In addition to these projects, the deputy secretary announced an increase in Highway User Revenue funding, made possible by bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Larry Hogan last year. Garrett County will receive $1,777,918 in Highway User Revenues this year, an increase of $172,785 over last year's allocation. Additionally, the county will receive $6,000 in highway safety grant funds.
MDOT team members representing the agency's business units were: Deputy Secretary Lewis; Administrator Chrissy Nizer from MDOT MVA; Local Transit Support Director Travis Johnston from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Chief Engineer Paul Shank from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Administrator Greg Slater from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA).
Transportation officials provided updates on major road projects in Garrett County, including $61 million in upgrades along US 219, from I-68 to Old Salisbury Road. This project is scheduled to be complete in fall 2020, and will enhance accessibility and promote economic development.
At the US 219 and Center Street intersection in Oakland, MDOT SHA crews will work next spring on a $1.5 million project to replace a 12-foot-long section of roadway at the Wilson Run box culvert.
In McHenry, a $3.2 million intersection project at US 219 and Mosser Road is scheduled to begin this fall. The project will increase roadway and pedestrian safety.
MDOT SHA has completed the first phase of the replacement of the 96-year-old bridge on MD 39 over the Youghiogheny River in Crellin. And crews recently completed a $2.8 million resurfacing project on MD 495 between MD 135 and Crabtree Creek.
MDOT is also working with state, county, and local partners to deliver bicycle and pedestrian projects through trail grants. Awards in fiscal 2020 include $95,000 for Garrett State Forest Snaggy Mountain Trail rehabilitation, $42,051 for Garrett State Forest trail maintenance, and $175,000 for 5.5 miles of trail rehabilitation linking Herrington Manor State Park to Swallow Falls State Park.
MDOT MTA is also making a transit investment in Garrett County, providing $929,000 in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. An additional $132,000 is being provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities. In addition, the Garrett Transit Service was awarded a $13,190 Statewide Transit Innovation Grant for software to help with scheduling and passenger notifications.
On statewide issues, officials noted that Governor Hogan's latest proposed toll rate reductions could save Marylanders $28 million over the next five years. The proposal to reduce tolls for a third time under the Hogan administration is scheduled to be voted on by the MDTA Board on Nov. 21.
The MDTA is upgrading toll-collection software and modernizing customer service. All-electronic tolling is set to begin Oct. 16 at the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge in northeastern Maryland and Oct. 30 at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.
In addition, a Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study of location and funding options for a third Chesapeake Bay crossing is moving forward, with three alternatives and a 'no-build' option now being reviewed.
The Bay Bridge is currently undergoing a two-year, $27 million rehabilitation project to replace the deck surface of the westbound span right lane.
Deputy Secretary Lewis highlighted new records at the Port of Baltimore, including its handling of 11 million tons of general cargo in fiscal 2019. The port is No. 1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery, and ninth among U.S. ports for dollar value of cargo, with $59.7 billion last year.
BWI Marshall is experiencing growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets. In 2018, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic by exceeding 27.1 million passengers.
For fiscal 2020, MDOT MAA will provide $2.48 million in state support for Maryland's public-use airports, including $9,000 to Garrett County Airport for snow removal equipment.
Deputy Secretary Lewis said that MDOT was pleased to continue working with Garrett County officials on a highway safety plan to address personal injuries crashes in Maryland. The state experienced 513 roadway fatalities in 2018, with Garrett County experiencing six.
Maryland'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. Deputy Secretary Lewis encouraged residents and officials in attendance to sign MDOT's Traffic Safety Pledge, found at: http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/SafetyPledge.html.
Officials and residents met today at the Commissioners Public Meeting Room in Oakland. The meeting was the 10th stop on the annual CTP tour. Each fall, MDOT visits each county and Baltimore City to present its draft six-year capital program for review and comment. To view the full CTP tour schedule, visit: https://bit.ly/2mhwlHn. To view the Draft CTP, visit: www.ctp.maryland.gov. Following input from the jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.
Follow MDOT on Twitter at @MDOTNews and stay updated on the CTP Tour with #MDOTCTPtour. Find the latest news at http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/News/News.html and view MDOT photos on Flickr.