MDOT wraps up statewide tour with Dorchester Council visit

CAMBRIDGE — Deputy Transportation Secretary Jim Ports met Tuesday with Dorchester County officials to discuss the Draft FY 2017 — FY 2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), which details the Maryland Department of Transportation’s draft 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 $14.4 billion investment through 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. Officials also discussed the Maryland Transportation Authority’s $1.99 billion additional investments in Maryland’s toll roads and bridges.

“The annual CTP Tour is a great opportunity for us to connect with our customers and to discuss their transportation priorities,” said Deputy Secretary Ports. “We are committed to continuing an active dialogue with our customers throughout the year.”

MDOT Team members representing the agency’s business units were: Deputy Secretary Ports and Regional Planner Ian Beam from The secretary’s office; Regional Aviation Assistance Director Ashish J. Solanki, A.A.E, from the Maryland Aviation Administration; Harbor Development Director Chris Correale from the Maryland Port Administration; Field Operations Director Richard Norman from the Motor Vehicle Administration; Local Transit Support Director Beth Kreider from the Maryland Transit Administration; District Engineer Donnie Drewer from the State Highway Administration; and Acting Project Planning and Program Development Director Melissa Williams from the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Speaking on behalf of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn, Deputy Secretary Ports outlined key updates on the transportation investments. Statewide, more construction projects are underway than at any other time in Maryland’s history, with 1,073 projects totaling $7.9 billion across MDOT, from investments in MVA, transit, highways and toll facilities to key projects at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and BWI Marshall.

In addition to these projects, Deputy Secretary Ports announced funding for Dorchester County’s local priorities, including: $4.1 million in Highway User Revenues for the county and its municipalities for FY 2017 – FY 2022 and $982,000 in key FY 2017 capital and operating transit grants to support the local transit operation. This transit funding includes the replacement of three small cutaway buses and ongoing preventive maintenance. In addition, Delmarva Community Services and Dove Point will receive $683,000 in capital assistance to support the important transportation services they provide for seniors and people with disabilities.

As part of Gov. Hogan’s transformative plan called BaltimoreLink, designed to connect all the transit pieces into one true transit network throughout the Baltimore region, MTA also is moving forward with implementing a new commuter bus route next spring that will provide service between Kent Island, Annapolis and Baltimore, linking Eastern Shore residents with easy transit access to more employment options.

Deputy Secretary Ports also touted the latest records at the Port of Baltimore, including the Port being No. 1 in the nation for autos and roll on/roll off machinery and welcoming the first big container ship from Evergreen to come through the newly expanded Panama Canal. He also highlighted key Dorchester County companies that count on the port to conduct business here in Maryland including Maryland Plastic, M and M Refrigeration, and Trenton Pipe.

Locally, the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport is eligible for about $197,000 during State Fiscal Year 2017 in Regional Aviation grant funding for a number of improvement projects, including a replacement automated airport weather station, security fencing and gates, and obstruction removal.

Deputy Secretary Ports said SHA recently began a $3.6 million project to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Md. Route 16 and Woods Road in Cambridge. In addition to the roundabout, SHA is installing a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path, relocating utilities, improving drainage and upgrading lighting with LED systems. Project completion is anticipated by fall 2017. Also, next spring SHA will begin a $1.6 million resurfacing project on U.S. Route 50 between Bucktown Road and Austin Road in Cambridge. Project completion is estimated by fall 2017.

The Maryland Transportation Authority is undertaking a 48-month Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act Study for an additional Chesapeake Bay crossing. The two main goals of this study are to identify where the crossing will be located and explore financing options.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.