September 26, 2019
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
Transportation Officials Announce and Key Project Updates
(Ellicott City, MD) – Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis Jr. today met with Howard County officials 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 the 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 Howard County and across Maryland. Statewide, there are 718 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Administration 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. Howard County will receive more than $3.5 million in Highway User Revenues this year, an increase of $143,000 over last year's allocation.
Additionally, nearly $400,000 in highway safety grants will go to county agencies and organizations through MDOT MVA.
MDOT team members representing the agency's business units were: Deputy Transportation Secretary Lewis; Administrator Christine Nizer from the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA); Administrator Kevin Quinn from the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA); Administrator Greg Slater from the MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA); Executive Director Ricky Smith from the MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA); and Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).
MDOT MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Howard County through the operation of MARC Train, eight Commuter Bus routes, one BaltimoreLink route, and $5 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. MDOT MTA also is providing $375,000 in funding between three nonprofits in the county to support their transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities.
Additionally, MDOT MTA has awarded Howard County a $400,000 Statewide Transit Innovation Grant to develop a unified and collaborative approach with the Regional Transit Authority, MDOT MTA and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to improve co-located bus stops.
Deputy Secretary Lewis also highlighted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including its handling of 11 million tons of general cargo in fiscal 2019. The port remains No. 1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery. The port is ninth among U.S. ports for dollar value of cargo with $59.7 billion last year, and 11th for total foreign cargo tonnage with 43 million tons.
BWI Marshall is experiencing steadily 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.
Transportation officials also provided updates on major highway projects and system preservation projects in Howard County.
MD 32 is open at full capacity between MD 108 and Linden Church Road. The $44 million project was designed to eliminate daily backups between Linden Church and Burntwoods roads.
MDOT SHA continues Phase II of MD 32 improvements between Linden Church Road and I-70. At a cost of $127 million, the project is scheduled to be completed in summer 2022.
A $3.6 million rehabilitation project on the US 40 bridge over I-70 was completed. Crews replaced the bridge deck, abutment joints and repaved the approaching roadway.
MDOT SHA also completed a $3.7 million repaving project on I-70 between the Baltimore County line and Marriottsville Road.
A $2.5 million safety improvement project is underway on US 1 at Kit Kat Road. The project includes construction of a northbound deceleration lane to facilitate tractor-trailer turning movements and the addition of a traffic signal. The safety upgrades are expected to be complete by summer 2020.
In other efforts to improve safety, MDOT SHA reduced the speed limit on US 1 from Whiskey Bottom Road to Hicks Road, and from Montevideo Road to Ducketts Lane. In addition, MDOT SHA reduced the speed limit on MD 99 between MD 32 and Woodstock Road.
MDOT SHA is in the process of installing Smart Traffic Signal technology on US 40 in the Normandy Woods area. The technology monitors real-time traffic conditions and uses computer software to adjust the timing of traffic signals, synchronizing the entire corridor to keep traffic moving.
MDOT is working with state, county and local partners to deliver bicycle and pedestrian projects using Transportation Alternatives, Recreation Trails and Bikeways grant programs. Currently, MDOT is partnering on seven projects totaling $1.6 million in federal grant funds, and two projects totaling $240,000 in state grant funds. The projects include: Dobbin and McGaw Road bike and pedestrian improvements; Patuxent Branch Trail paving and ADA improvements; and Oella Patapsco River bike and pedestrian bridge feasibility study.
Additionally, Howard County was awarded $98,000 for the design of the Dobbin Road Pathway Phase II project and $60,480 for maintenance of trail facilities at Patapsco Valley State Park.
At MDTA, 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 also is upgrading toll-collection software and modernizing customer service. All-electronic tolling is set to begin in October at the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore and the Thomas J. Hatem Bridge in northeastern Maryland.
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.
Deputy Secretary Lewis said he was pleased to continue working with Howard County officials on a highway safety plan to address personal injuries crashes in Maryland. The state experienced 513 roadway fatalities in 2018.
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
The meeting at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City was the third stop on the annual CTP tour. Meetings will be held at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. To view the full CTP tour schedule, visit: https://bit.ly/2mhwlHn. To view the Draft CTP, visit: www.ctp.maryland.gov.
Each fall, MDOT presents its draft six-year capital program to every county and Baltimore City for review and comment. Following input from the 24 local 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.