Updated: Mar 29
Secretary of Transportation, Pete K. Rahn
(Oakland, MD) – Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn today met with Garrett County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2019-2024 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 $16 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 additional $3.3 billion investment in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.
“We continue to deliver on the largest construction program in the state’s history, improving customer service at MDOT, and setting records for containers at the port and for passengers at the airport,” said Secretary Rahn.
MDOT team members representing the agency’s business units were:
Transportation Secretary Rahn
Administrator Christine Nizer, MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration
Chief Engineer Paul Shank, MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration
Local Transit Support Director Travis Johnston, MDOT Maryland Transit Administration Administrator Greg Slater and District Engineer Tony Crawford, MDOT State Highway Administration
Secretary Rahn outlined key updates on the transportation investments. Statewide, there are 816 airport, highway, transit, port, bicycle, and Motor Vehicle Administration construction projects underway with a value of $8.8 billion.
In addition to these projects, transportation officials announced funding for Garrett County’s local priorities, including: $10.7 million in Highway User Revenues for the county for FY 2019 – FY 2024, which includes the additional $940,000 in grants recently awarded by the governor. Because Garrett County officials signed the HUR grant applications at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference, the county received those funds two weeks early.
MDOT MTA is also making a significant investment in Garrett County through inter-city bus service and by providing $960,000 in operating and capital grants to support the local transit system. This includes the replacement of two small cutaway buses and ongoing preventive maintenance. An additional $132,000 will be provided to nonprofits that serve the transportation needs of seniors and people with disabilities in the county.
Secretary Rahn also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the port handling 10.9 million tons of general cargo – from autos and heavy machinery to containers – in FY 2018. The port remains number one in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery, and handled a record 596,972 containers in 2017.
At BWI Marshall, Secretary Rahn highlighted steadily growing passenger traffic with new airlines and service to new domestic and international markets. In 2017, BWI Marshall set a new all-time annual record for passenger traffic by exceeding 26 million passengers. The airport through July set passenger records in 36 of the previous 37 months.
On the highway side, Secretary Rahn noted that under Governor Hogan’s leadership, Maryland is continuing to deliver on record investments in highways and bridges. Of the 69 structurally deficient bridges the Hogan administration identified in June 2015, all have been repaired, replaced or are advertised for construction.
Transportation officials also provided updates on major projects and system preservation projects in Garrett County.
MDOT SHA is planning improvements at US 219 and Center Street, set to begin in summer 2019, along with improvements at the intersection of US 219 and Moser Road. The US 219/Moser Road project is set to begin in the spring of 2019.
MDOT SHA recently completed two safety and resurfacing projects along US 219 in Oakland. In addition, crews added and upgraded sidewalks at various locations throughout Garrett County, including Friendsville, Accident and Grantsville.
Thanks to Governor Hogan’s Investment in Highways and Bridges, last fall, SHA completed a $2.7 million resurfacing project on MD 38 between Vindex Road and MD 135. Also, last year, SHA completed a $1.9 million project to rehabilitate the US 50 bridge over a branch of the Youghiogheny River.
At MDTA, Governor Hogan’s toll rate reductions have saved Marylanders $186 million since 2015. A Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study of location and funding options for a third Chesapeake Bay crossing began in January 2017 and will take up to 48 months to complete.
Transportation officials commended Garrett County for taking the initial steps to create a highway safety plan. Maryland experienced 558 roadway fatalities in 2017.
The state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan aims to target the most common causes of roadway fatalities in Maryland: impaired driving; speeding; not wearing seat belts; distracted driving; and not using crosswalks. Secretary Rahn urged residents to sign MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge, located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDOTsafetypledge.
Officials and residents met today at the Commissioners Public Meeting Room in Oakland. The meeting was the 11th stop on the annual CTP tour, which is scheduled to conclude November 15 in Baltimore County. Meetings are planned at various locations in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. For a complete list of the CTP Tour schedule with dates, times and locations visit: http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/newMDOT/Planning/CTP/2018_CTP_Tour/Index.html. 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.