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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 20, 2014

Contact:         John Sales

                       410-537-1017

 

 

BUSY THANKSGIVING WEEK ANTICIPATED AT MARYLAND’S TOLL FACILITIES

 

BALTIMORE, MD -- As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds motorists to travel during off-peak hours, stay alert and plan ahead to avoid travel delays.  Based on traffic counts from previous years, Wednesday is expected to be the heaviest travel day, with many travelers also expected to hit the roads Tuesday.

The MDTA anticipates a one percent increase in traffic volumes compared to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday period.  Between Tuesday, Nov. 25, and Sunday, Nov. 30, the MDTA expects more than 2.6 million travelers on its highways, bridges and tunnels:

·         Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) – more than 726,000 vehicles.

·         John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – nearly 667,000 vehicles.

·         William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 428,000 vehicles.

·         An additional 846,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge
(I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge
(US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. 

All figures represent traffic volumes in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following tips to help motorists reach their destinations safely:

·         Travel during off-peak hours to avoid significant delays.  For the I-95 corridor, off-peak hours include:

  •   Tuesday and Wednesday -- before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
  •   Thursday through Sunday -- before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

·         Game Plan for your travels.

  •   For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.  Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.
  •   Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.  Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the bridge and to sign up for email alerts.
  •   A hands-free device any traveler will love.  Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.

·         Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your holiday travels.  The ICC now connects I-270/I-370 and Konterra Drive/US 1.

Reminder:  The Chesapeake and Maryland House Travel Plazas are both open for service on I-95.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority.  The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity.  The MDTA Police and Courtesy Patrol Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles.  In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from Tuesday, Nov. 25, to Monday, Dec. 1.

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

·         Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.

·         Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.

·         State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.

·         Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.

·         Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see, especially on bridges.

·         Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.

·         Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”

·         If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.

·         When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide the following:

• The location of the emergency

• A call-back telephone number

• Details of the incident/accident/disabled vehicle/or other circumstances                                    

·         State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals.  If you are unable to move over, slow down.

·         Drunk Driving. Over the limit. Under Arrest.

In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, Nov. 28, including the E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center.  Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card.  Offices will reopen on Monday, Dec. 1.

REMINDER:

Dateline for I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) Opening in Baltimore:

  • Saturday, Dec. 6, by 6 a.m.:  I-95 ETL opens between I-895 and MD 43 (weather permitting).
  • Saturday, Dec. 6 – Friday, Dec. 12 at midnight: Test-drive period -- no tolls will be collected.
  • Saturday, Dec. 13, 12:01 a.m.: Toll collection begins.

For more information, visit mdta.maryland.gov.

 

For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience.  Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 17, 2014

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks

                        410-537-1017

NEW I-95 EXPRESS TOLL LANES TO OPEN DEC. 6
Test Drive The ETL At No Charge Through Dec. 12;
I-95 Improvements Enhance Highway Safety Along Congested Corridor

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) today announced that it will open the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in northeast Baltimore by 6 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, weather permitting.  Drivers will be able to ‘test drive’ the I-95 ETL, located between I-895 and just north of MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard), at no charge from the opening on Dec. 6 through Dec. 12, helping the MDTA to test the tolling equipment under actual traffic conditions and allowing all drivers an opportunity to become familiar with the I-95 ETL. 

“The I-95 Express Toll Lanes were built to improve travel and traffic safety today, and are designed to handle growing traffic volumes along this busy stretch of I-95 for decades to come,” class="A1"said MDTA Executive Director Bruce W. Gartner.  “The I-95 ETL will provide motorists with a convenient choice for reliable travel.”

In its first full year of operation, the JFK Highway/I-95 carried an estimated 30,000 vehicles per day in 1964.  Currently, approximately 177,000 vehicles travel this section of I-95 each weekday, with traffic projected to increase to nearly 200,000 vehicles per weekday by 2025.  Motorists are most likely to use the I-95 ETL during rush hours, holidays and major traffic incidents.  The new lanes are part of a comprehensive I-95 Improvement Project focused on enhancing highway safety along this vital economic corridor.

The $1.08 billion I-95 Improvement Project includes two new ETL in each direction of I-95, adjacent to the existing four general-purpose (non-tolled) lanes, as well as
$756 million in significant highway and safety enhancements.  These upgrades included:

  • Reconfigured three major I-95 interchanges (I-895, I-695 and MD 43) to improve traffic operations and enhance safety;
  • Eliminated left-hand exits from the general-purpose lanes at the I-695 interchange;
  • Modified the traffic pattern on southbound I-95 at I-895, giving priority movement to the majority of motorists who continue along I-95; and
  • Replaced two structurally deficient bridges at MD 43.

Note: Even though the I-95 ETL will open to traffic on Dec. 6, drivers will still see related construction activities throughout the project limits.

Like the Intercounty Connector/MD 200, there will be no toll plazas on the I-95 ETL. Tolls will be collected electronically at highway speeds using E-ZPass® as vehicles pass beneath overhead tolling structures.  The I-95 ETL also will use Video Tolling for drivers who do not have E-ZPass.  Toll rates vary by time of day, direction of travel and method of payment.

The I-95 ETL per-mile toll rates are at the low end of the ETL tolling plan approved by the MDTA Board in December 2013.  Drivers of two-axle vehicles with E-ZPass will pay a total of $1.75 during peak hours, $1.40 during off-peak hours and $0.70 overnight per trip to use the new lanes after the test-drive period.

 

E-ZPass Toll Rates*:

Pricing
Period

2-axle/
Motorcycle
3-axle4-axle5-axle6-axle+
Peak:$1.75$5.25$7.91$10.50$13.16
Off-Peak:$1.40$4.20$6.30$8.40$10.50
Overnight:$0.70$2.10$3.15$4.20$5.25

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video Toll Rates*:

Pricing
Period

2-axle/
Motorcycle
3-axle4-axle5-axle6-axle+
Peak:$2.75$7.88$11.87$15.75$19.74
Off-Peak:$2.40$6.30$9.45$12.60$15.75
Overnight:$1.70$3.15$4.73$6.30$7.88

 

 

 

 

 


*holiday rates differ; visit mdta.maryland.gov

 

Pricing Periods:

SOUTHBOUND  
?Peak:  

 

Mon-Fri6 am - 9 am
 Sat12 pm - 2 pm
 Sun2 pm - 5 pm
Off-Peak:  
 Mon-Fri5 am - 6 am / 9 am - 9 pm
 Sat5 am - 12 pm / 2 pm - 9 pm
 Sun5 am - 2 pm / 5 pm - 9 pm  
Overnight:  
 Mon-Sun9 pm-5 am
NORTHBOUND  
?Peak:  

 

Mon-Fri3 pm - 7 pm
 Sat12 pm - 2 pm
 Sun2 pm - 5 pm
Off-Peak:  
 Mon-Fri5 am - 3 pm / 7 pm - 9 pm
 Sat5 am - 12 pm / 2 pm - 9 pm
 Sun5 am - 2 pm / 5 pm - 9 pm  
Overnight:  
 Mon-Sun9 pm-5 am

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Drivers without a valid E-ZPass account will pay a Video Toll Rate to travel the I-95 ETL.  A Notice of Toll Due will be sent to the registered owner of the vehicle for the cost of the Video Toll, which is 1.5 times the E-ZPass toll rates, with a minimum of $1/maximum of $15 above the E-ZPass rates.

MDTA Executive Director Gartner set the I-95 ETL holiday rates for the remainder of 2014, which are available at mdta.maryland.gov.

The I-95 ETL are eight miles (seven tolled) of “through” lanes between White Marsh and Baltimore.  Motorists will be able to access the I-95 ETL from I-95, I-895, MD 43 at I-95 and Moravia Road at I-895.  For a map and simulation video of the I-95 Improvement Project with ETL, including where motorists can enter and exit the ETL, visit mdta.maryland.gov. In addition, the Maryland Transit Administration has two express bus service routes out of White Marsh and three commuter bus routes that will benefit from using the new I-95 ETL.

To sign up for E-ZPass, visit ezpassmd.com to enroll online or get a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.  E-ZPass Stop-in Centers are located at local Motor Vehicle Administration offices and are adjacent to Maryland toll plazas.

Dateline for I-95 ETL Opening:

  • Saturday, Dec. 6, by 6 a.m.:  I-95 ETL open between I-895 and MD 43 (weather permitting).
  • Saturday, Dec. 6 – Friday, Dec. 12 at midnight: Test-drive period -- no tolls will be collected.
  • Saturday, Dec. 13, 12:01 a.m.: Toll collection begins.

For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.  Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 13, 2014

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks or Rebecca Freeberger

                        410-537-1017 

REMINDER:  TOLL VIOLATORS MUST PAY TO AVOID SUSPENSION OF VEHICLE REGISTRATIONS

BALTIMORE, MD – Next week, the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) will begin sending courtesy-reminder notices to the registered owners of approximately 131,000 vehicles with unpaid toll violations and civil penalties before it begins referring these violators for non-renewal and suspension of their vehicle registrations in January.  Approximately 9,000 of these registrations are at risk of suspension. 

The ability to flag the registrations of motorists who continue to ignore their bills – even after ample time to pay – gives the MDTA the tool it needs to collect Video Tolls.  The MDTA is assuring the 99 percent of motorists who do pay their tolls that it is not letting toll violators get away without paying. In addition, 93,000 out-of-state registered owners will have their Maryland toll debt referred to Maryland’s Central Collection Unit (CCU) in January.

In July 2013, new legislation established a civil citation process to help the State collected unpaid tolls.  Following the law’s implementation in October 2013, more drivers now are paying their Video Tolls.  The payment rate for Video Toll transactions has increased from approximately 60 to 70 percent.  Video Tolls represent less than three percent of the MDTA’s total transactions and toll revenues. 

With Video Tolling, registered vehicle owners receive a Notice of Toll Due (NOTD) for using any of Maryland’s eight toll facilities without paying with cash or E-ZPass®. The NOTD allows the vehicle owner to pay the Video Toll transaction within 30 days without any penalties or additional fees.

Those who do not pay within 30 days receive a civil citation and $50 fine for each unpaid Video Toll transaction in addition to the Video Toll amount.  The owner may pay the citation and fine or contest the citation in District Court.  Motorists who do not pay or contest civil citations and fines within 30 days will be referred to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) as follows:

  • Less than $1,000 (unpaid tolls and fines) – Referred for non-renewal flag of vehicle registration.
  • $1,000 or more (unpaid tolls and fines) – Referred for suspension of vehicle registration.

To ensure their license plates or toll debt are not referred to the Maryland MVA or to the CCU in January 2015, it is advisable for violators to pay up by Jan. 6, 2015.

The MDTA estimates that this backlog of registration flagging and CCU referrals resulting from the implementation of the law last October will be cleared in spring 2015.  At that time, the referral process will operate automatically on a daily basis.

Customers with unpaid Maryland tolls can pay by the following methods:

  • Visit ezpassmd.com;
  • Mail check/money order payable to E-ZPass Maryland to P.O. Box 17600, Baltimore, MD 21297;
  • Call the E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center during regular business hours (7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday – Friday) at 1-888-321-6824;
  • Visit an E-ZPass Maryland Stop-In Center.

 

Process to Fully Open Both Roadways Starts Friday Evening; Motorists Are Urged to Pay Attention to New Traffic Patterns

(November 5, 2014)  – Beginning Friday evening, November 7, crews will begin opening the final section of the Intercounty Connector (ICC) / MD 200 to US 1 in Prince George’s County.  During this same time, crews also will begin opening the I-95 / Konterra Drive (formerly Contee Road) Interchange, located between the ICC and MD 198.  Both the ICC and the new interchange will open to traffic by morning rush hour on Monday, November 10, weather permitting.

The last segment of the ICC extends 1.5 miles from I-95 to US 1 in Laurel.  This project also includes a partial interchange at Konterra Drive and a signalized intersection at US 1 (click here for fact sheet) near the MARC commuter station on Muirkirk Road.  Commuters will have improved access to the Muirkirk MARC Station by traveling eastbound on the ICC/MD 200 to Konterra Drive (Exit 20), turn right, then left at the traffic signal on Muirkirk Road over US 1 to a left into the entrance for the MARC station.  The final ICC contract included improvements to I-95 to create new collector-distributor (CD) lanes for access to and from the new Konterra Drive, the ICC and MD 198 interchanges (click here for project map).  The consolidated exits improve safety by separating slower exiting and entering traffic from mainline travel lanes.

The portion of the ICC between I-270/I-370 and MD 97 opened February 2011 and the remainder to I-95 opened to traffic November 2011.  The State Highway Administration (SHA) designed and built the toll highway, which is operated and maintained by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).  The ICC is an all-electronic, variably priced toll facility, where higher tolls are charged during peak-travel times (Monday through Friday, between 6 - 9 am and 4 - 7 pm) and reduced tolls are charged during off-peak and overnight hours.  ICC tolls are collected at highway speeds using E-ZPass® and Video Tolling to maintain relatively free-flowing traffic conditions.  The ICC per-mile toll rates will remain the same with the opening to US 1.

Simultaneous to the opening of the final segment of the ICC, SHA will open a new I-95 interchange at Konterra Drive.  Located along I-95 between the ICC and MD 198, the new interchange will serve Konterra Drive, which extends from Old Gunpowder Road to the west to Muirkirk Road to the east, providing better access to the Laurel Regional Hospital and a future 2,200-acre mixed-use development at Konterra.

Motorists should use caution when traveling through the area over the weekend as crews will open the connecting ramps, roads and CD lanes in phases.  Drivers are urged to follow signs, watch for construction crews and prepare for new traffic patterns.

SHA’s contractor for the final ICC project was a joint venture design-build team including Shirley Contracting Company, LLC, Clark Construction Group, LLC, Facchina Construction Company, Inc. and Trumbull Corporation.  The lead design firm was Dewberry & Davis, LLC.   The contractor for the I-95/ Konterra Drive interchange was American Infrastructure, Inc.

For more information about using the ICC and signing up for E-ZPass, visit class www.mdta.maryland.gov and for more information about the ICC project visit www.iccproject.com and for state highways, visit www.roads.maryland.gov.

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 24, 2014

Contact:  Becky Freeberger, 410-537-1017

          

BRING CANNED GOODS

 ON YOUR COMMUTE

Donate non-perishable food items at MD

bridges and tunnels Sept. 24-26 and Sept. 29-30

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Join the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) and Marylanders from across the state in the Maryland Day to Serve campaign to donate time and/or resources which brings citizens together to feed the hungry and heal the planet.  Along with the Maryland Department of Transportation, MDTA employees have commenced Operation Orange Canned Food Drive and are collecting non-perishable food items at MDTA toll facilities for the Maryland Food Bank.

“We are honored to be a part of this remarkable initiative that will help put food on the table for families,” said MDTA Executive Director Bruce Gartner. “As a public-service agency, the MDTA is excited to be a part of Operation Orange and the Maryland Day to Serve campaign uniting Marylanders with the common purpose of helping others.”

Starting today through Sept. 26 and Sept. 29 - 30 from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m. daily, employees will collect non-perishable items at the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry Tunnels (I-895, I-95), the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40), the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) and the ICC/MD 200 Facility on Crabbs Branch Way. Non-perishable items will be collected at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301) Sept. 24 – 25 and Sept. 29 - 30 from 7 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m daily.  You may also bring your donations to any E-ZPass MD Stop-in Center daily through Sept. 30 during regular business hours.

The items most needed are:  canned meat, ham and chicken; peanut butter; macaroni and cheese; canned stews; canned tuna, salmon and sardines; nuts and seeds; dried canned beans; oatmeal; breakfast cereal; rice and rice cakes; pasta; canned fruits and juices; canned vegetables; canned soup; evaporated milk; powdered milk; infant fomula; pudding; diapers; toilet paper; and plastic/paper cups and plates.

Customers who wish to donate non-perishable items should use the far-right toll lane and follow directions from uniformed MDTA police officers or MDTA staff. (Note:  This includes E-ZPass customers who wish to drop off items.)  The MDTA Police remind drivers to keep safety in mind as they approach drop-off sites. Non-perishable items may be dropped off at designated sites during scheduled times only.  Toll collectors are unable to accept donations in the toll lanes.                                                                                               

Follow the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov, twitter.com/TheMDTA, and facebook.com/TheMDTA.  For more on the Maryland Day to Serve program, visit daytoserve.org/Maryland.

                                                                           ###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 25, 2014

Contact:          John Sales

410-537-1017

 

 

HEAVY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC

ANTICIPATED AT MDTA TOLL FACILITIES

 

BALTIMORE, MD -- As summer comes to an unofficial close, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the more than 1.8 million motorists anticipated to travel its facilities over the Labor Day holiday weekend to plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart.  Arrive Safe.  This total represents a two percent increase in traffic volumes compared to last year.

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, Aug. 29, and Monday, Sept. 1:

·         William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 347,000.

·         John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 453,000.

·         Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) – more than 452,000.

An additional 573,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined.  All totals represent traffic in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend:

·         Travel off-peak when heading to and from beach destinations.  The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

  •          Thursday – before noon and after 10 p.m.
  •          Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  •          Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
  •          Sunday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  •          Labor Day Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.

·         Don’t Wing It.  Plan Ahead! 

  •          Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
  •          Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.
  •          Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
  •          Ease your travel with E-ZPass.  Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
  •          Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.  To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
  •          For current toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator. 

·         Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your holiday travels.

Reminder:  If driving on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95), the Chesapeake and Maryland House Travel Plazas are both open for service.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority.  The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity.  Officers will target aggressive drivers during the fourth wave of the Smooth Operator Program from Aug. 31 through Sept. 6.  The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles.  In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1.

Please be aware of the new safety signage installed on the Bay Bridge, including:                                      

  •          MANDATORY HEADLIGHT USE AREA signs along both the westbound and eastbound bridges, which were installed in May. Headlights are required at all times on the bridge. Enforcement will begin after the holiday weekend.
  •          Curve warning signs and 40 mph speed-limit signs prior to curves on both bridges;
  •          YOUR SPEED IS driver feedback signs on both bridges; and
  •          DO NOT TAILGATE signs on both bridges.

I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel:  A major rehabilitation project is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Currently, traffic lanes on northbound I-95 split around the work zone between the Caton Avenue on-ramp and the Fort McHenry Tunnel: three lanes to the left and one lane to the right.  Motorists in the three left lanes can NOT use Exit 52 (Russell Street), but can access Exits 53 (Northbound I-395) and 55 (Key Highway).  KEEP RIGHT TO ACCESS RUSSELL STREET EXIT.  The right lane still has access to Exits 53 and 55.  Northbound I-95 Exit 54 (Hanover Street) is closed continuously through mid-September.  The detour route directs motorists to Exit 55 (Key Highway), to McComas Street, to Hanover Street.  In addition, the on-ramp from Russell Street to northbound I-95 is closed continuously through mid-September.  The detour route directs motorists to Russell Street Service Drive, to southbound I-395, to northbound I-95.  Automated Speed Enforcement equipment is operational on northbound I-95 throughout the work zone.  Motorists should consider the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

Bay Bridge westbound span.  Lane changes between the westbound left and center lanes are prohibited for the entire span, whether or not two-way operations are in effect.

  •          Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use control signals.
  •          Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
  •          State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint. 
  •          Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
  •          Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  •          Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see. 
  •          Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”
  •          If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
  •          State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle using visual signals.  If you are unable to move over, slow down.

In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, Aug. 29, including the E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center.  Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card.  Offices will reopen on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience.  Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2014

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

 

NEW $26 MILLION CHESAPEAKE HOUSE TRAVEL PLAZA ON I-95 TO OPEN TOMORROW

 Public-Private Partnership Supports 400 Construction and 575 Operating Jobs

Monument Honoring Maryland Military Women to Open in September at New Facility

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Weather permitting, at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, August 5, the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) and Areas USA will officially open the new $26 million Chesapeake House Travel Plaza along I-95 in Cecil County, six weeks ahead of schedule.  The Market Place one-stop shop, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Sunoco fuel station, A Plus convenience store and restrooms will be the first to open followed by the Earl of Sandwich at 6 a.m.  The remaining food concessions will open at 10 a.m., including Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s and Auntie Anne’s. 

Through an innovative Public-Private Partnership (P3) with the MDTA, Areas USA invested approximately $56 million to redesign and rebuild the Chesapeake House and Maryland House travel plazas on the JFK Memorial Highway (I-95) in northeastern Maryland.  The Maryland House in Harford County officially opened on January 16, 2014, with Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin hosting a pre-opening tour and ribbon cutting of the new facility on January 13, 2014.

“The Chesapeake House, and the already operational Maryland House, offer state-of-the-art facilities and many options for residents and travelers,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Through public-private partnerships like this one, we are able to create jobs and bring private sector innovation to our most critical infrastructure projects. I want to commend Areas USA for their work on this project, and I look forward to visiting the new monument honoring our Maryland Women Veterans.”

The Chesapeake House property includes a planned location for the Maryland Women in Military Service Monument.  The monument will honor women from the State of Maryland, past and present, who honorably and proudly served our nation in war and peace.  The Commission on the Establishment of the Women in Military Service Monument, in conjunction with Areas USA, the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, is coordinating the design and construction of the monument.  Installation of the Maryland Women in Military Service Monument is expected to be complete by late September. 

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has realized another successful public-private partnership to meet the transportation needs of our State while creating jobs in Cecil County,” said Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman James T. Smith, Jr.  “We can use these two projects as models in our efforts to deliver transportation solutions that make a real difference to Marylanders.”

The new 30,000 square-foot Chesapeake House features food from Earl of Sandwich, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Auntie Anne’s.  The new 4,300 square-foot A Plus convenience store at the Sunoco high-speed fueling station features custom crafted food and drinks.  The Chesapeake House also includes the following amenities:
 

  •  Contemporary design and natural lighting;
  •  Additional bus parking and indoor/outdoor seating;
  •  Free Wi-Fi;
  •  Modern restroom facilities and equipment;
  •  Building with “green” features –LEED certified silver;
  •  Staffed Welcome Center; and
  •  Kids Korner seating area.

“We’re pleased to unveil this exceptional facility and introduce a new level of customer service to the millions of people who visit the Chesapeake House travel plaza each year,” said Xavier Rabell, CEO of Areas USA. “Working together with the Maryland Transportation Authority and many of our local partners, we have created an innovative facility that will exemplify Maryland’s leadership in water conservation and management and offers national brands, state-of-the-art facilities, convenient access and essential services, all within an environmentally sensitive design.”

Areas USA will operate and maintain the travel plazas through 2047, while the MDTA retains ownership and oversight of the plazas.  Sunoco, Areas USA’s gas partner, will operate and maintain the fuel stations.  The P3 agreement supports 400 construction and 575 operating jobs and will bring in more than $400 million to the State over the course of the 35-year agreement.

“Thank you to the millions of MDTA customers for their patience as Areas USA completed the new Chesapeake House six weeks ahead of schedule,” said MDTA Executive Director Bruce Gartner.  “The hard work and dedication of the hundreds of people who worked on this project is evident in both the new Maryland and Chesapeake House travel plazas, from the fresh landscaping and new sidewalks on the outside to the open space, natural lighting and modernized bathrooms on the inside.”

The original Maryland House, which opened in November 1963 along what was then called the Northeastern Expressway (I-95), housed a cafeteria and a sit-down restaurant with linen tablecloths and had two gas stations.  To meet the growing number of travelers along this busy interstate, the Chesapeake House opened in 1975.  The two travel plazas are among the busiest in the country, serving more than five million customers each year.

Timeline – Travel Plaza Redevelopment:

  • Sept. 16, 2012: Areas USA becomes new travel-plaza concessionaire.  The Maryland House closed for reconstruction; the Chesapeake House remained open.
  • Spring 2013: Construction begins on new Chesapeake House adjacent to existing facility.
  • Jan. 16, 2014: New Maryland House opens for business; Chesapeake House closes for reconstruction.
  • August 5, 2014: Chesapeake House reopens six weeks ahead of schedule.

Photos of the new Maryland House and Chesapeake House can be found at www.mdta.maryland.gov/MD_I-95_Travel_Plazas/Home.html.  Customers can provide feedback about the new Maryland House to Areas USA at 866-820-1178 or via email at guestservice@areasmail.com. 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2014

Contact:           John Sales

                        410-537-1017

 

**MEDIA ALERT**

PUBLIC WARNED OF E-ZPASS MARYLAND
'PHISHING' EMAIL SCAM

Public Can Call Customer Service Line at 1-888-321-6824 to Report Phony Emails

BALTIMORE, MD The Maryland Transportation Authority is warning the public today that several phony emails are circulating requesting E-ZPass Maryland customers to pay their toll debt online.  This is a phishing email seeking to obtain personal information and should be ignored and deleted.  A sample of this email is shown below.

Under no circumstance does E-ZPass Maryland ever request personal information via email.  While E-ZPass Maryland periodically sends marketing emails for upcoming events, projects or surveys, the agency will never send an unsolicited email demanding payment or requesting sensitive personal information such as credit card information, social security numbers, user names, passwords, etc.

If contacted via email by anyone stating that they are from E-ZPass Maryland and they are seeking personal information, E-ZPass Maryland advises the public not to open or respond to the message.  The safest thing to do is delete the email.  The public is urged to call the E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center at 1-888-321-6824 to report if they have been contacted by someone attempting to obtain personal information, or if they have any questions about their account information.

 Phish email

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 26, 2014

 

CONTACT:    Cheryl Sparks

                        410-537-1017

                               

GOVERNOR O'MALLEY APPOINTS NEW MEMBER TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

 

BALTIMORE, MD - Governor Martin O'Malley has appointed Katrina J. Dennis of Pikesville to serve as the newest Board Member of the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA).  A Principal with the Baltimore law firm of Kramon & Graham PA, Ms. Dennis is a trial lawyer who focuses on employment and commercial law.  She has extensive knowledge of employment disputes and employer management issues, as well as commercial litigation.  

"Ms. Dennis brings a wealth of knowledge to an agency known for using innovative financing strategies to fund key projects that grow our expanding economy," said Governor O'Malley.  "As a Maryland Transportation Authority Board member, her expertise in employment and commercial law, coupled with her commitment to public service, make Ms. Dennis a true asset in delivering a modern, interconnected transportation network that Maryland residents can depend on."

Ms. Dennis holds a bachelor of arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Baltimore School of Law.  She is recognized as one of the "Rising Stars" in Maryland Super Lawyers for 2013 and 2014, and The Daily Record also recognized her as one of Marylands Leading Women in 2013, an honor recognizing women age 40 and under for tremendous career accomplishments and leadership in the community.  In addition, Ms. Dennis is a 2014 recipient of The Daily Record's Very Important Professionals - Successful by 40 award.

"Transportation touches all of our lives and Ms. Dennis will play a key role in the O'Malley-Brown Administration's efforts to create jobs, expand opportunity and strengthen Maryland's middle class," said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. 

Ms. Dennis was officially sworn in by the clerk of the court in Towson on June 23.

 "I am honored to receive this appointment and for the opportunity to bring my experience and perspective to the agency, said Dennis.  "I look forward to helping to guide an agency that touches the lives of Maryland's citizens each and every day."

 

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is an independent State agency that finances, owns and operates the States toll facilities. The MDTAs Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the State Senate, serve as the agencys policy-setting and governing body.  Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 19, 2014

 Contact: John Sales
                410-537-1017

 

SUMMER 2014 TRAVEL SEASON
KICKS OFF WITH MEMORIAL DAY
Reminder: Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge

 

BALTIMORE, MD – As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the more than 1.7 million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday – plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe.  This total represents a 1% increase in traffic counts compared to last year. 

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 23, and Monday, May 26:

  • Bay Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 333,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 452,500.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) – more than 477,000. 

An additional 534,500 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined.  All totals represent traffic in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:

  • Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore.  The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:
    • Thursday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
    • Friday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
    • Saturday – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
    • Sunday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
    • Memorial Day Monday – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
  •  Don’t Wing It. Plan Ahead!
    • Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
    • Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for  email alerts.
    • Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
    • Ease your travel with E-ZPass.  Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
    • Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.  To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
    • For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.  The current cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Bay Bridge is $6.
  • Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your travel route to the Eastern Shore.

Reminder:  If driving on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95), the new Maryland House is open for service and the Chesapeake House is closed for reconstruction.  The Chesapeake House reopens Summer/Fall 2014.

Please be aware of the new safety signage installed on the Bay Bridge, including:

  • MANDATORY HEADLIGHT USE AREA signs along both the westbound and eastbound bridges. Headlights are required at all times on the bridge;
  • Curve warning signs and 40 mph speed-limit signs prior to curves on the westbound and eastbound bridges;
  • YOUR SPEED IS signage on the bridge;
  • DO NOT TAILGATE signs on the westbound and eastbound bridges;
  • To be installed after Memorial Day weekend: CONGESTION AHEAD signs with flashers to activate during heavy congestion to warn motorists of the potential for slowed/stopped vehicles.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority.  The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity.  The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures from Friday, May 23, at 5 a.m. through Tuesday, May 27, at 9 a.m.

For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:

  • Pay attention to lane markings and rumble strips on the Bay Bridge westbound span.  Lane changes between the westbound left and center lanes are prohibited for the entire span, whether or not two-way operations are in effect.
  • Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
  • Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
  • Law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.  Click It or Ticket.
  • Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
  • Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see. 
  • Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
  • Move-over when passing an emergency situation.  If you are unable to move over, slow down.

In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, May 23, including the E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center.  Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card.  Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 27.

The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience.  Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

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E-ZPass and Video Tolling Customer Service - Toll Free: 1 (888) 321-6824
MDTA Management Offices: 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224
Local: (410) 537-1000 - Out of Area: 1 (866) 713-1596