10/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2019 14:08
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 3, 2019
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
MDOT OFFICIALS MEET WITH ALLEGANY COUNTY
AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES
TransportationOfficials Provide Key Project Updates
(Cumberland, MD) - Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr. met with Allegany 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, Motor Vehicle Administration facilities, 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 Allegany 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 funding through Highway User Revenues, made possible by bipartisan legislation signed by Governor Larry Hogan last year. Allegany County will receive more than $2,885,233 in Highway User Revenues this year, an increase of $414,559 over last year's allocation. Additionally, the county will receive $15,500 in highway safety grants, including funds for the County Sheriff's Office and the Cumberland and Frostburg police departments.
MDOT team members representing the agency's business units were: Deputy Secretary Lewis; Administrator Christine 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 Allegany County, including the recently completed $7.2 million project to rehabilitate the bridge on I-68 over MD 639 in Cumberland.
MDOT SHA is working on a $9.2 million project to replace a 96-year-old bridge on MD 36 over Jennings Run in Mount Savage. This project will be completed in spring 2020.
The agency is also working on a $5 million rockslide prevention project on MD 135 in Westernport that will begin next summer. Currently in design, the project will help mitigate debris slides.
In spring 2020, crews will begin work on a $14 million bridge rehabilitation project on MD 51 over CSX and Canal Parkway. And MDOT SHA is also working with the county on a $2 million project to replace the MD 831C bridge over Jennings Run in Corriganville.
MDOT is partnering with state, federal and local agencies on bicycle and pedestrian projects, including $40,680 to the Allegany County Sheriff's Department for maintenance of the Great Allegany Passage, and $39,180 to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for trail maintenance at Rocky Gap State Park.
MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Allegany County, including $1.4 million in operating and capital grants to support local transit systems, and $140,000 in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 for nonprofits that serve transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities.
The county was also awarded $270,000 in fiscal years 2020 to 2022 through Maryland-Job Access and Reverse Commute (MD-JARC) to help expand transit service hours to employment areas in the Cumberland area, and $210,000 in a Statewide Transit Innovation Grant for a central mobility hub at Frostburg State University and a study related to creating a mobility hub in Cumberland.
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. In 2018, BWI 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 $277,000 to Cumberland Regional Airport to support a runway rehabilitation.
Deputy Secretary Lewis said that MDOT was pleased to continue working with Allegany County officials on a highway safety plan to address personal injuries crashes in Maryland. The state experienced 513 roadway fatalities in 2018, with Allegany 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 County Office Complex in Cumberland. The meeting was the ninth stop on the annual CTP tour. Each fall, MDOT visits every 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 24 jurisdictions, MDOT prepares a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January.