FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 9, 2021
MDOT Public Affairs
Erin Henson, 410-865-1025
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
MDOT MEETS VIRTUALLY WITH ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY
OFFICIALS AS PART OF ANNUAL STATEWIDE TOUR
TO DISCUSS TRANSPORTATION PRIORITIES
Transportation Secretary Outlines Budget and Provides Key Project Updates
HANOVER, MD – Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater met virtually with Anne Arundel County officials today to discuss the Draft FY 2022 – FY 2027 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) six-year capital budget. The 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 $16.4 billion investment over the next six years in transit, highways, motor vehicle services, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority's (MDTA) $2.8 billion in additional investments in Maryland's toll roads and bridges. More information on the CTP process is available at http://ctp.maryland.gov.
“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 Secretary 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). The FY 2022 operating budget totals $2.24 billion.
This $16.4 billion Draft FY 2022 – FY 2027 capital budget focuses on system preservation, major projects, planning and engineering. More than half of the budget – $8.2 billion – will go toward preserving aging infrastructure.
MTA is facing $2 billion in state of good repair needs on its transit network. MDOT as a whole is facing a $7 billion state of good repair backlog, including needs on highways and bridges, and also at port, airport and motor vehicle facilities.
Along with a focus on system preservation, major projects, planning and engineering, Secretary Slater highlighted several other priorities, including:
- delivering infrastructure projects statewide in a way that incorporates technology, flexibility and future growth;
- providing safe and accessible mobility choices for all users, including pedestrians and bicyclists, that consider the interplay of land use and transportation decisions; and
- establishing a sustainable, customer-focused transportation vision that incorporates roadway, transit, freight, air and port infrastructure.
Secretary Slater highlighted $16.8 million in grants, recently announced by Governor Larry Hogan, to support bicycle, pedestrian and trail improvements through 42 projects across the state. Through the Kim Lamphier Bikeways Network Program, the Anne Arundel County Office of Transportation will receive $376,000 for the final design of two short but critical shared-use path gaps between Odenton and Arundel Mills on Bluewater Drive and Milestone Parkway.
The City of Annapolis will receive $224,000 toward design for widening of the Poplar Trail, which will connect to the southern terminus of the South Shore Trail in Anne Arundel County.
The Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks will receive more than $1.8 million through the Transportation Alternatives Program for a project that includes a stream valley restoration along approximately 7,400 feet of Glebe Branch's perennial channel in the South River watershed. This project will improve water quality and reduce impacts due to roadway runoff and stream velocity.
Under the Recreational Trails Program, the Maryland Port Administration will receive more than $83,000 to construct 2,800 feet of the new Cox Creek Community Trail in the Cox Creek Forested Conservation Easement Area.
Secretary Slater and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman also discussed a new partnership, through which the county will contribute design funding for SHA initiatives along MD 2, MD 3 and MD 214. Through this collaboration, the county will provide $1.16 million, with MDOT committing $1.44 million, to design the following projects:
- MD 2 – The county will contribute $200,000 toward the design portion of a project to add a third northbound lane along MD 2 between US 50 and Arnold Road. New sidewalks and a connection to the B&A Trail will be included in the project. SHA will contribute $800,000 for the design phase and manage the design.
- MD 3 – The county will contribute $160,000 toward design of a project to add a third lane in both directions along MD 3 between Waugh Chapel Road and MD 175. This project will also include a shared-use path as well as sidewalks and crosswalks at MD 175. MDOT SHA will contribute $640,000 for the design phase and will manage the design.
- MD 214/Mayo Peninsula – The county will contribute $800,000 for design of a project to add capacity and bicycle and pedestrian improvements on MD 214 between MD 468 and Loch Haven Road. MDOT SHA will manage the design.
SHA Administrator Tim Smith discussed the importance of maintaining the state's highways and bridges. As SHA works on completing projects throughout the state, its focus remains on asset management, accessibility and mobility. Administrator Smith emphasized the need to provide safe access to all users, including people who travel by foot, bicycle and scooter.
SHA's Context Driven Guide is changing the way the administration delivers projects. Using these guidelines, SHA considers the context of an area – including surrounding land use and other factors – throughout the planning process to determine which options and design features will make the area safer and more accessible for all.
SHA has projects under way across the state, including work in Anne Arundel County. SHA is improving MD 175 from Race Road/Sellner Road to McCarron Court and at the MD 295 interchange. The state re-advertised the project to reconstruct the interchange at MD 295 and include bicycle/pedestrian facilities along MD 175 across MD 295. SHA anticipates starting construction for the $79 million project in early 2022 and completing work in fall 2025.
On MD 450, SHA is working on much needed drainage improvements. This is a follow up from previous emergency drainage efforts, which re-established Bell Branch as the next drainage improvement priority. SHA has committed $450,000 toward design funding.
SHA recently completed sidewalk improvements on MD 424 from Duke of Kent Drive to MD 450. Work included sidewalk installation through the project limits, including new ADA-compliant ramps, pedestrian signals, utility relocation and constructing retaining walls. This $5 million project benefits the Crofton Middle and High schools and the surrounding neighborhoods.
MDTA Executive Director Jim Ports discussed the Bay Bridge's automated lane closure system, a project that will allow more efficient opening and closing of lanes for two-way traffic operations on the bridges. The project will include overhead lane-use control signals, dynamic message signs, horizontal swing gates and illuminated pavement markers. Work began in February 2020 on the Eastern Shore and January 2021 in Anne Arundel County. The project includes reconstructing and realigning US 50 eastbound in the former toll plaza area. In fall 2022, the automated lane closure system is expected to be in place in both directions of US 50.
In February, the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the ongoing Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study was made available for public review and comment at baycrossingstudy.com. The MDTA held in-person and virtual public hearings in April, and the comment period ended in May. The MDTA expects to identify a Selected Corridor Alternative and publish a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision this winter.
Ports also discussed the statewide implementation of all-electronic tolling. 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.
In addition, Ports discussed the MDTA's launch of DriveEzMD, the new home for all things tolling in Maryland. The April launch of DriveEzMD included a new website, web chat, customer call center with expanded hours, text notifications and more.
Finally, Executive Director Ports noted that work continues on the $1.1 billion I-95 Express Toll Lanes Northbound Extension northeast of Baltimore to relieve congestion and improve travel along the I-95 Corridor. The extension is expected to open to traffic by 2024 to MD 152 (Mountain Road), with the full extension to north of MD 24 open by 2027.
MTA Administrator Holly Arnold discussed the agency's investments and priorities, including keeping the transit system in a state of good repair. Some key state of good repair investments include:
- $400 million to replace the Metro SubwayLink railcars and signal system,
- $160 million to overhaul major systems on light rail trains to ensure reliable service,
- $54 million to overhaul 63 MARC III passenger coaches,
- $210 million for a five-year contract for clean diesel buses,
- $238 million to rehabilitate and renew Metro tunnel, track, systems and stations, and
- $264 million to repair and rehabilitate light rail structures, track, systems and stations.
Administrator Arnold also discussed MTA's first 50-year Statewide Transit Plan, expected to be complete by the end of the year. Building upon existing regional and local transit plans across the state, the plan will outline a 50-year vision for transit in Maryland and help define transit needs across the state for future generations.
MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Anne Arundel County by providing $2 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit operation in the county. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne Arundel County will receive $9 million in federal relief funds to support transit operations and/or capital needs for the county
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, MTA is transitioning toward a zero-emission bus fleet, investing more than $269 million for its zero-emission vehicles program, bus pilots and procurements.
The MTA remains committed to focusing on the customer experience. The Draft CTP budgets $43 million for new dedicated bus lanes, bus stops and transit hubs including wayfinding, bike and shared mobility initiatives and improvements related to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
These commitments build upon the strong foundation and progress MTA has established to improve the transit experience and system reliability for our riders, including:
- recognition as the safest transit system in the U.S. for the last seven years,
- implementation of CharmPass mobile ticketing,
- improving bus reliability with dedicated bus lanes, and
- expansion of real-time information to MARC Train and Commuter Bus.
MTA makes a significant investment in transit in Anne Arundel County by providing $2 million in operating and capital grants to support the local transit operation in the county. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anne Arundel County will receive $9 million in federal relief funds to support transit operations and/or capital needs for the county.
MVA Deputy Administrator Leslie Dews reminded those in attendance that MVA remains under an appointment only operation, allowing the administration to efficiently serve more customers. Most branches have returned to pre-pandemic levels or are exceeding monthly transactions from previous years.
Among other recent changes, customers can now renew a license up to 12 months in advance. In addition, MVA extended the new photo requirement from every eight years to every 16 years. For Commercial Driver's License customers, expiration dates on all CDL products will be changing from five years to eight years, the same as the non-commercial license.
MVA offers more transactions online than ever before and customers are taking advantage of those services more than ever. Those services will be enhanced with the final rollout of MVA's IT modernization project, known as Customer Connect, in December. Phase 1 of Customer Connect 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, giving the agency a complete view of the customer and real-time updates. For customers, this means greater access to their information online and a more secure product with the implementation of MD ID, a randomly generated number that protects a customer's personal information.
Deputy Administrator Dews provided an update on the federal REAL ID requirement. MVA is working hard to ensure every Marylander is prepared for the new deadline of May 3, 2023. Currently 83% of Marylanders are REAL ID compliant, one of the highest in the nation.
She also discussed the Hogan Administration's recent announcement of more than $100,000 for agencies in Anne Arundel County to address highway safety.
MAA Executive Director Ricky Smith said MAA remains focused on improving facilities and services for customers while creating opportunities for domestic and international service. Driven by the mission to provide safe, reliable and efficient service, projects include: an airport-wide restroom renovation program; aviation fuel storage replacement and expansion; electrical feeder replacements; airfield lighting vault upgrades; and passenger boarding bridge replacement.
After a short pause due to the pandemic, the 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. Improvements will include direct concourse-to-concourse connectivity for passengers, new food and retail concessions, modern restrooms and expanded airline hold rooms, all atop a new baggage handling system.
MAA also is moving forward with site preparation and utility work that will support construction of a major aircraft maintenance facility for Southwest, the carrier's first such maintenance hangar in the Northeast.
MAA will continue to support aviation and airports across Maryland by working with its 35 public-use airports in the state. For the Statewide Aviation Grants program that provides important state funding and support for airport improvement projects, MAA intends to administer $1.6 million in grants during Fiscal 2022 for regional airports across Maryland. Tipton Airport in Odenton will receive $101,000 in state aviation grant assistance for replacement of the airfield fence in state fiscal 2022.