Skip Navigation

Skip to Main Content

MDTA News Releases

MDTA News Releases with RSS Feed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 13, 2016

 

DONATE CANNED GOODS

DURING HUNGER ACTION MONTH

Donate non-perishable food items at

E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers through Sept. 30

 

BALTIMORE, MD - Join the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) in donating your time and resources to feed the hungry. MDTA employees are collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items at

E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers for the Maryland Food Bank during its Operation Orange Canned Food Drive.

"We are proud to be involved with this meaningful campaign to help bring attention to a growing crisis in our state," said MDTA Executive Director Milt Chaffee. "As a public-service agency, the MDTA welcomes the opportunity to be part of Operation Orange, which unites Marylanders with the common purpose of helping others."

Through Sept. 30, employees will collect non-perishable items at E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers during regular business hours. Please visit ezpassmd.com for Stop-in Center locations and hours. You also may bring your donations to the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 facility at 13201 Konterra Drive in Laurel from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The items most needed are: canned meat, ham, tuna and chicken; peanut butter; nuts and seeds; canned or dried beans; oatmeal; breakfast cereal; rice; pasta; canned or dried fruits; canned vegetables; canned soup; evaporated milk; powdered milk; and infant formula.

Customers also may use the Maryland Food Bank's virtual food drive to donate online at fooddrive.mdfoodbank.org. Virtual food drives are accessible through Sept. 30.

Follow the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov, twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA. For more on the Maryland Day to Serve program, which runs Sept. 10 through Oct. 10, visit daytoserve.org/Maryland.

                                                                                ###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 9, 2016

                       

GOVERNOR HOGAN APPOINTS NEW MEMBER TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY


BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Larry Hogan has appointed financial planner Katherine Bays Armstrong of Howard County to serve as the newest Board Member of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA).  Ms. Armstrong was appointed on Sept. 1, 2016.

“I am confident Ms. Armstrong’s financial, business and community background will be an asset to an already-strong and diverse MDTA governing body,” said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

A Certified Financial Planner of Heritage Financial Consultants, LLC, Ms. Armstrong previously served as Vice President of Investment and Wealth Management for Mercantile-Safe Deposit & Trust Co. (now PNC).  She also served as a faculty member for The Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, Towson University and Notre Dame University of Maryland from 1978 – 2013 and has published numerous articles related to financial planning.

Ms. Armstrong received her master’s degree in Economics from Loyola University and previously served on the boards of numerous non-profits, including Network 2000, Junior League of Baltimore, Howard Community College Educational Foundation and Maryland Women in Philanthropy.  She twice received the Junior League President’s Award for outstanding contributions to the Baltimore community and was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record in 1997, 2005 and 2007.

“I am honored to receive this appointment and look forward to working with this well-respected organization and talented team,” said Ms. Armstrong.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) finances, owns and operates the state’s eight toll facilities.  The MDTA’s Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the state Senate, serve as the agency’s policy-setting and governing body.  Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

###

For Immediate Release:

September 1, 2016

 

Heavy Labor Day Weekend Traffic Anticipated on Maryland's Highways & Toll Facilities

Motorists Urged to Plan for a Safe & Sober Ride;

Travel Off-Peak at the Bay Bridge

 

As summer comes to an unofficial close, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is preparing for increased traffic on Maryland's highways and toll facilities this Labor Day holiday weekend. MDOT reminds motorists that having a plan for a safe and sober ride home can be the difference between life and death.

"More than 170 people are killed every year on Maryland's roads by drunk and drugged drivers," said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. "Every one of those deaths was preventable, and each victim was a family member or friend who is not alive today because of someone else's stupidity."

MDOT's Highway Safety Office offers the following tips for a safe Labor Day weekend:

· Download Maryland's smartphone app known as ENDUI (pronounced END-DUI) for free from the iTunes store or the Google Play store. With key features such as creating a designated driver list or instantly locating the nearest taxi service or public transportation, ENDUI makes it easier than ever to prevent impaired driving.

· Designate a safe and sober driver before the party begins.

· If you don't have a designated driver, plan to call a cab or a ride share, use public transportation or have a sober friend or family member drive you.

· Never let friends drive if they have had too much alcohol to drink.

· For information on MDOT's Toward Zero Deaths campaign, visit towardzerodeathsmd.com.

Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest: The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police will remain vigilant and target impaired and aggressive drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Additional MDTA Police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend.

Plan ahead, travel off-peak and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe: The MDTA anticipates more than 1.8 million motorists will travel its toll facilities over the holiday weekend. This total represents a one percent increase in traffic volumes compared to last year. More than 353,000 motorists are expected to travel the Bay Bridge alone.

Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this holiday weekend include:

  • Thursday - after 6 p.m.
  • Friday - before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • Saturday - before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Sunday/Monday - before 10 a.m. and after midnight.

The E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center will be closed on Monday, Sept. 5. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824. Additionally, MDOT's Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will close all offices on Saturday, Sept. 3, and Monday, Sept. 5. All full-service Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) stations also will close. Seven of MVA's nine self-service VEIP kiosks will remain open and are available 24/7. The Owings Mills and Baltimore City kiosks will both be closed on Monday due to parking lot resurfacing. For more information about online MVA transactions, please click here.

The MDTA and Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will lift non-emergency and construction-related lane closures on state highways from Friday, Sept. 2, to Tuesday, Sept. 6. MDTA courtesy patrols and SHA highway response technicians will be deployed to assist disabled vehicles, help clear debris from the roadway and work to open lanes as soon as possible after a crash.

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

  • In the event of a property damage crash, Move It - move vehicles onto a shoulder to exchange information.
  • Look up, Look out and stay alert for pedestrians and cyclists, especially during school arrival and dismissal times.
  • Move Over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
  • Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
  • Always Wear Your Seat Belt: Seat belts are your best defense in a crash. Being properly secured keeps you in control of your vehicle and ready to react to a hazardous situation. Buckle up ... that includes your children and other passengers in front and rear seats.
  • Know Before You Go and use 5-1-1 or log onto md511.org for travel conditions throughout the State. Maryland's 5-1-1 System features a "Reach the Beach" Prompt. From a hands-free mobile device, call 5-1-1 and say "Reach the Beach" for travel conditions from the Bay Bridge and points east to the ocean resorts.
  • For real-time updates on major incidents, follow the MDTA on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions. Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras and to sign up for email alerts.

# # #

GovSeal

For immediate release:
August 30, 2016

 

Governor Hogan Announces Study for New Chesapeake Bay Crossing,
Unveils Maryland's New License Plate

Study to Identify Bay Crossing Location; New Plate Proudly Features Maryland Flag

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan today announced the start of a study that will identify the location and explore potential funding options for a new Chesapeake Bay crossing. The $5 million "Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)" Study, which was voted on and approved by the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board last week, will begin this fall and take up to 48 months to complete. Following today's announcement held overlooking the Bay Bridge, Governor Hogan also unveiled a new Maryland license plate design.

"Marylanders all across the state depend on being able to cross the Chesapeake Bay, but the reality is that there is simply too much traffic, and that it will continue to get worse," said Governor Hogan. "This Tier 1 study is the critical first step needed in order to move forward on addressing the long-range issue of future traffic congestion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge."

NEPA requires state and federal agencies to consider the environmental consequences of proposed projects as part of their decision-making. It provides the flexibility to assess projects in a staged approach. The Tier 1 study will pursue environmental regulatory agency concurrence and agreement from the Eastern Shore counties on one crossing location. The study will include traffic, engineering, and environmental analyses; cost-per-mile estimates; preliminary financing and procurement options; and an economic and land-use study.

"The Bay Bridge can be maintained safely through 2065 with preservation and maintenance work; however, studies show that by 2040, motorists could experience up to 14-mile delays," said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. "This is the first step in a long process to address the demand for additional capacity across the Chesapeake Bay."

The MDTA - the agency that finances, owns, operates, and maintains the state's eight toll facilities - will conduct the study, and more information will be available on mdta.maryland.gov as the Tier 1 NEPA study progresses. Extensive public and community outreach efforts will include focus groups, listening tours, public workshops, a project website, newsletters, and fact sheets.

Following the announcement, Governor Hogan unveiled Maryland's new license plate design, which will feature the Maryland flag front and center. The Maryland Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will start issuing the new plate on Monday, September 26 for all passenger cars, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, and multipurpose vehicles.

"You would be hard pressed to find another state that has more pride than our great state of Maryland," said Governor Hogan. "Earlier this year we launched our newly redesigned, state-of-the-art, Maryland-themed driver's licenses, using our beautiful flag for inspiration. Now, Marylanders will have yet another way to show their state pride, with our new 'Maryland Proud' standard-issue license plate."

The new plate meets all state standards and has passed all law-enforcement testing for readability. The new standard-issue plate will replace the War of 1812 plate, but customers who want to keep their existing plates do not need to get the new plate. Those who want to replace their existing license plates will pay the current $20 replacement cost. Registration renewal costs remain unchanged. All vehicles purchased on/after September 26 will be issued the new plate unless customers want to transfer their existing plates to their vehicles.

"We think these beautifully designed plates will be very popular and strongly encourage our customers to skip the trip to the MVA and order them online," said Secretary Rahn.

The War of 1812 plate was first issued in June 2010 and was scheduled to be in circulation during the Star Spangled commemoration. It is standard practice to update the Maryland license plate every few years. All Maryland license plates are manufactured by Maryland Correctional Enterprises, a division of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. MVA issues approximately 740,000 sets of license plates per year.

To order the new Maryland Proud plate after September 26, visit the MVA website at mva.maryland.gov and click Online Services.

-###-

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 24, 2016

 

MDTA CREWS SHARPEN THEIR SNOW-FIGHTING SKILLS

IN SIXTH ANNUAL "TRUCK ROADEO"

Hook Up The Plows!

BALTIMORE, MD - Today, truck drivers and mechanics from the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will hone their respective skills at the sixth annual "Truck Roadeo" training exercise in Baltimore. The training prepares vehicle operators and mechanics for the hustle and bustle of winter before the first snowflakes fall.

"The Truck Roadeo helps MDTA ensure safe, effective and efficient winter operations and the highest service for our customers," said MDTA Executive Director Milt Chaffee. "In the dog days of summer, the MDTA is thinking snow."

The training is designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities of vehicle operators and help identify an individual's operating strengths and weaknesses and knowledge of applicable laws, salting procedures and equipment safety and maintenance.

The Truck Roadeo includes a series of obstacle courses for plow drivers that challenge skills for backing up, maneuvering in tight spaces and accurate plowing on outside and inside curves or near vehicles. If the operator should bump or knock down any barriers or cones, or exceed boundary lines in the obstacle course, penalty points are deducted from the total score. The top two winners will go to the national training event, the APWA Western Snow & Ice Conference and Roadeo, in Colorado next month.

This is the first year where MDTA's tow truck drivers, the Vehicle Recovery Technicians (VRTs), will compete. Challenges include vehicle hook-up/towing and tire changing, two skills that are important for removing stuck or disabled vehicles from the roads during snowstorms. In addition, mechanics will undergo a two-part challenge involving a written test and hands-on troubleshooting of a dump truck.

Sixteen plow drivers, 10 mechanics and six VRTs are competing in today's event, representing all of MDTA's toll facilities. The MDTA has approximately 350 personnel on hand during winter snowstorms, including office staff, mechanics and operators, with approximately 265 pieces of heavy equipment, including dump trucks, loaders and snow blowers.

To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. 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

Aug. 23, 2016

 

BICYCLE ACCESS ON HATEM BRIDGE WEEKENDS ONLY STARTING SEPT. 6

Share the Bridge & Cross with Care

Bikes Allowed Weekends Dawn to Dusk

BALTIMORE, MD - Starting Tuesday, Sept. 6, bicyclists will be allowed to cross the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) from dawn to dusk Saturday, Sunday and state holidays only and during pre-arranged special events. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) urges bicyclists and motorists to Share the Bridge and Cross with Care.

Prior to crossing the bridge, bicyclists push a button to activate flashing warning lights that alert drivers when a bicyclist is crossing the bridge. The lights will flash for 10 to 15 minutes, providing the bicyclist time to safely cross the bridge.

Bicyclists must ride in the direction of traffic and should position themselves in the center of the right lane. Motorists are encouraged to use the left lane when warning lights are flashing.

Trucks over five tons still must use the right lane but may use the left lane to safely pass bicycles. When the right lane on the bridge is closed for maintenance and construction, motorists and bicyclists will share the open left lane. Bicyclists traveling eastbound will pay the $8 two-axle toll in the far right toll lane (cash and E-ZPass accepted).

Bicycle Access Restrictions

  • Bicyclists must be 18 years of age or older OR have a valid driver's license.
  • Bicyclists are encouraged to ride single file and follow all rules of the road.
  • Bicyclists are not permitted to stop while crossing the bridge.
  • Pedestrians, skateboards, scooters and skates are not permitted.
  • When bicycle access is restricted in the event of fog, wind, other inclement weather or incident, notification will be made via variable message signs and on MDTA's Twitter account at twitter.com/TheMDTA.

The Hatem Bridge is the oldest of the MDTA's toll facilities. The 1.3-mile, four-lane bridge opened in August 1940. The posted speed limit on the Hatem Bridge is 45 mph. The MDTA began allowing bicycle access on the bridge July 1, 2016.

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

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 16, 2016

CALHOUN RETIRES FROM MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY BOARD


BALTIMORE, MD - After serving more than a decade as a Board Member of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun, Sr., has retired. Rev. Dr. Calhoun served from 1999 - 2005 and most recently was appointed as a Board Member in May 2009.

During his tenure as MDTA Board Member, Rev. Dr. Calhoun helped the agency lead an aggressive plan to preserve the agency's aging toll facilities, enhance customer service and safety, provide financial accountability and ensure the progress of projects including the I-95 Express Toll Lanes and the Intercounty Connector/MD 200. He also served as Chairman of the Capital and Human Resources committees and as liaison to the Maryland Port Administration.

An active civic leader and pastor of the Trinity Baptist Church of Baltimore for more than 40 years, Rev. Dr. Calhoun also is a professor of urban ministry at Baltimore's Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University. His other pursuits include serving as a board member of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council and president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. He previously served on boards for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, Maryland Food Committee, B.U.I.L.D. and the I-83 Interstate Division of Baltimore City Advisory Committee.

Rev. Dr. Calhoun's extensive work as a community activist and his ability to build partnerships were a tremendous benefit to the MDTA's staff and to the citizens of Maryland. The MDTA wishes Rev. Dr. Calhoun a healthy and happy retirement.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) finances, owns and operates the state's eight toll facilities. The MDTA's Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the state Senate, serve as the agency's policy-setting and governing body. Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Aug. 2, 2016
 
CONTACT: Kelly Melhem
 
410-537-1017
 

INNOVATIONS IN CUSTOMER SERVICE & TECHNOLOGY COMING TO STATE'S TOLL FACILITIES

Only Customer-First Partners Need Apply

 
BALTIMORE, MD - Reflecting the Hogan Administration's commitment to customer service, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is seeking firms to revolutionize customer services and tolling technology at its eight toll facilities across the State. Yesterday, the MDTA issued two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to develop and operate the third generation of its electronic toll-collection systems.
 
"We are seeking firms that will collaborate with us to put our customers first and deliver superior services to Marylanders," said MDTA Deputy Executive Director Deb Sharpless. "Reliability, collaboration and flexibility will drive this transformation and will allow us to meet the evolving needs of our customers, adapt to changing technologies and positively impact Maryland's economy."
 
The procurement that started this week will result in completely new tolling systems and customer-service operations for E-ZPass Maryland customers. The new contracts will be performance driven with clear standards and expectations and will deliver choices to customers as their needs change over time.
 
As part of this multi-year process, the MDTA solicited feedback from industry firms in April to develop the strongest RFPs possible before putting them out for proposals. The MDTA anticipates the new systems will be live within two years of awarding the new contracts.
 
Interested firms should register on eMarylandMarketplace at https://emaryland.buyspeed.com/bso/ in order to access the procurement packages.
 
Learn more about the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov and about E-ZPass Maryland at ezpassmd.com. Find us at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 27, 2016

 

GOVERNOR HOGAN APPOINTS NEW MEMBERS TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY


BALTIMORE, MD - Governor Larry Hogan has appointed William H. Cox, Jr., of Bel Air and John F. Von Paris of Upper Falls to serve as the newest Board Members of the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA). Both were appointed on July 1, 2016.

"Bill's and John's legislative, financial, business and transportation backgrounds will add to the diverse experience of our Board members," said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

President of William H. Cox, Jr., Real Estate, Inc., Mr. Cox also served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1971 - 1991 and previously worked in the financial industry. A graduate of Bel Air High School, Mr. Cox attended the University of Baltimore and previously served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Transportation and the Greater Harford Committee, member of the Maryland Transportation Commission, vice chairman of the Conference of State Government and chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference's Federal State Affairs Committee, among many others.

A graduate of Towson University, Mr. Von Paris is president and chief executive officer of Von Paris Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of the Von Paris Family Moving and Storage business. Mr. Von Paris has served previously as chairman of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland and past member of the Governor's Workforce Investment Board, where he co-chaired the Transportation Initiative. He is a past trustee and board member of The John Carroll School.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and look forward to serving as a governing member of the agency responsible for so many of our state's major transportation investments," said Mr. Cox.

"Serving on the MDTA Board is truly a privilege. I look forward to working with this well-respected organization and talented team. I will use my many years of industry experience to best serve the citizens of Maryland," said Mr. Von Paris.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) finances, owns and operates the state's eight toll facilities. The MDTA's Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the state Senate, serve as the agency's policy-setting and governing body. Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

                                                                           ###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 26, 2016

 

INNOVATIVE BAY BRIDGE CABLE PROJECT WINS
LOCAL AND NATIONAL AWARDS

Cable Dehumidification Project First of Its Kind in U.S.

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has received local and national recognition for its innovative cable dehumidification project at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301). The $51 million project, the first of its kind in the United States, was completed last year and included the rewrapping and dehumidification of the main cables and anchorages of the eastbound and westbound Bay Bridge main spans, the only suspension bridges in Maryland.

"These awards show Maryland is a national leader in its use of innovation and state-of-the-art techniques to sustain Maryland's infrastructure for years to come," said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete Rahn.

Dehumidification is a cost-effective means of preserving main cable systems that has been proven on bridges in Europe and Japan. Twenty suspension bridges around the world use dehumidification systems to protect their bridge cables. Dehumidification systems eliminate moisture within airtight cable wrapping, delivering superior protection and extending the service life of the cables.

"It is an honor to have other professionals learning from our techniques," said Milt Chaffee, executive director of the MDTA, which finances, owns, operates and maintains the state's eight toll facilities. "After visiting the Bay Bridge project, several U.S. suspension bridge owners have indicated to us their plans to install dehumidification systems on their bridges."

The MDTA and its project partners, AECOM, Ammann and Whitney and Kiewit Infrastructure, received the following awards for the team's accomplishments:

  • 2016 Maryland Quality Initiative (MdQI) Award of Excellence:

MdQI presents annual Awards of Excellence and Partnering Awards for public-sector transportation projects in Maryland. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project won the 2016 Award of Excellence in February.

  • 2016 Grand Award - American Council of Engineering Companies Maryland (ACEC/MD) Engineering Excellence Competition:

The ACEC/MD annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition recognizes engineering firms for projects that demonstrate a high degree of innovation, achievement, and value. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project was one of 13 finalists in the competition and garnered the 2016 Grand Award in February.

  • 2016 Honor Award - ACEC National Engineering Excellence Award Competition:

Since 1967, ACEC's Engineering Excellence Awards competition has celebrated the world's most outstanding engineering accomplishments. The Bay Bridge Cable Dehumidification project competed with about 150 projects and garnered a prestigious Honor Award in April.

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

Find us at mdta.maryland.gov and on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA.

###