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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 19, 2014

Contact: Cheryl M. Sparks

                 410-537-1017 

Statement from Maryland Transportation Authority on
National Transportation Safety Boards Final Report
from Investigation of July 19, 2013, Bay Bridge Crash

Baltimore, MD The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) was notified today that the National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB) Office of Highway Safety released its final report for the investigation of the July 19, 2013, crash on the Bay Bridge (US 50/301).  In response, MDTA Executive Director Bruce W. Gartner offers the following statement:

"The MDTA appreciates the thorough investigation of the July 19, 2013, crash conducted by the NTSB.  We also thank Senator Barbara Mikulski, whose interest in the crash demonstrated her concern for motorists safety.

Similar to the MDTA Police and Maryland State Police joint investigation, NTSBs final report attributes the cause of the crash to driver inattention on the part of the commercial-vehicle operator. The NTSBs report underscores the immense responsibility of each and every driver when traveling the Bay Bridge. Please keep your eyes on the road, dont tailgate and put your cell phones away. In turn, motorists can be assured that the MDTA places their safety first at all of its bridges, tunnels and highways. Just last month we outlined $500,000 in safety upgrades for the Bay Bridge, including requiring vehicles to use their headlights at all times on the bridge."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 14, 2014

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

MAJOR TWO-YEAR PROJECT BEGINS ON I-95 SOUTH OF THE FORT MCHENRY TUNNEL

4.4 Miles of Roadway Resurfacing and Joint Replacement Work

Traffic Shift on Northbound I-95 to Begin Sunday Night

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $66 million project to remove and replace the existing concrete deck (riding) surface and roadway joints on mainline I-95 and the ramps serving I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel and Caton Avenue (Exit 50).  This preservation project, funded completely by toll revenue and expected to last two construction seasons, includes lane shifts on mainline I-95, reduced lane widths, elimination of shoulders and full-time and part-time ramp closures and detours around the work zone.

Currently, crews are repairing and replacing storm drains along I-95 between Caton Avenue and Washington Boulevard.  Weather permitting, beginning Sunday night, March 16, northbound I-95 lanes will shift from the median toward the right shoulder and in late March/early April, construction barriers will be set up on northbound I-95 throughout the 4.4-mile construction zone. 

Weather permitting, in early May, southbound I-95 lanes will shift from the median toward the right shoulder followed by the installation of concrete barriers. By early summer, the ramp from southbound I-395 to southbound I-95 will be reduced to one lane for approximately three months and will reopen before the new school year begins in August.

The following ramps will be affected at various times during this project:

 

Full-Time Ramp Closures

Part-Time Ramp Closures

  • McComas Street to I-95.
  • Washington Boulevard to I-95 SB.
  • MD 295 to I-95 NB.
  • I-95 NB to Hanover Street.
  • I-95 NB to Key Highway.
  • Hanover Street to I-95 SB.
  • I-95 SB to I-395 NB.
  • I-95 SB to MD 295 SB.
  • Russell Street to I-95 SB.
  • I-95 SB to Caton Avenue.
  • I-95 NB to Russell Street.
  • I-395 SB to I-95 NB.
Full-time ramp closures will last 24/7 for approximately one to two weeks while part-time closures will occur on nights and weekends.  Scheduled lane closures will be restricted to off-peak and non-event hours during days, nights and weekends.  Mainline I-95 travel lanes will be reduced from 12-foot to 11-foot lanes during traffic shifts.  All lanes on I-95 will be maintained throughout the project.  Drivers should expect delays and shifts in traffic patterns in and around the work zone.
 
Construction is expected to be complete in mid 2016.  G.A. & F.C. Wagman, Inc., of York, Pa. will repair and replace aged bridge decks and drainage troughs, and mill and resurface the bridge decks.  Work also includes miscellaneous structural repairs.
 
The Fort McHenry Tunnel opened in 1985.  Bridges along I-95 north of the tunnel were resurfaced in 2001 and 2004.  This will be the first resurfacing project on I-95 south of the tunnel since it opened.
 
The MDTA will alert the public to changing traffic patterns, ramp closures and alternative routes/ detours through traffic advisories, website and social media updates and notifications to local residents, schools, hospitals, businesses and emergency services.  Portable and overhead electronic message signs will display travel information.  For information on the MDTA’s facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  For statewide travel conditions, visit MD511.ORG or call 511.
 
Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
 
The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2014

Contacts:         1st Sgt. Jonathan Green, MDTA Police, 410-537-7724 

                        Matthew Verghese, Lt. Governor’s Office, 410-701-0131

          

LT. GOVERNOR BROWN HONORS

TOP MDTA COPS

Anne Arundel County Resident Named Officer of the Year

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Yesterday evening, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown joined Transportation Deputy Secretary Wilson H. Parran, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Executive Director Bruce W. Gartner and MDTA Police Chief Col. Michael T. Kundrat to honor sworn and civilian members of the MDTA Police who distinguished themselves during 2013.

“Members of the MDTA Police play a key role in protecting some of Maryland’s most vital transportation facilities,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “From the Port of Baltimore and BWI Marshall Airport to our bridges, tunnels and highways, these outstanding men and women are vital to our efforts to build a stronger economy by keeping people and commerce moving safely and efficiently in Maryland.”

During the ceremony, which was held at the MDTA Police Headquarters located near the Key Bridge in Baltimore, Off. Paul Pastorek was named the MDTA Police Officer of the Year for 2013.  An Anne Arundel County resident and three-year member of the force, Off. Pastorek received the award for his exceptional work and service while assigned to the MDTA Police detachment at the Port of Baltimore.  He is a well-rounded officer and a leader in criminal and traffic enforcement.

“Maryland citizens have invested billions in essential transportation facilities and we owe it to them not only to maintain and preserve them, but to protect these assets and the people who rely on them every day,” said Deputy Secretary Parran.  “The accomplishments of the MDTA Police in 2013 epitomize the long-standing tradition of service and excellence members display year after year.”

In 2013, MDTA Police officers made more than 400 criminal arrests, arrested more than 1,100 individuals for suspected Driving Under the Influence offenses, issued nearly 170,000 traffic citations and warnings and inspected more than 25,000 commercial vehicles.

“Last year, the men and women of the MDTA Police continued to excel as a police force in carrying out its mission,” said Col. Kundrat. “I am proud of Off. Pastorek and each of the recipients who were honored and recognized for their efforts during last night’s ceremony.”

More than 80 officers and civilians also were honored with Awards of Excellence, Lifesaving Awards, Chief’s Commendations, Distinguished Service Awards and Top DUI enforcement officers, among others. Award recipients were nominated by citizens or fellow employees.

The MDTA Police have played a vital role in the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s efforts to enhance homeland security through intelligence and information sharing, Closed Circuit TV deployment, trainings and exercises and the new statewide interoperable radio system, Maryland FiRST. 

A nationally accredited force, the MDTA Police is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State, with more than 600 sworn and civilian professionals.  MDTA Police officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA’s highways, bridges and tunnels, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore.

 

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 27, 2014

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks or John Sales

                        410-537-1017

MDTA ANNOUNCES $500,000
IN BAY BRIDGE SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS
 
HEADLIGHTS REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES

BALTIMORE, MD – At a Fiscal Year 2015 budget hearing today before the members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Subcommittee on Public Safety, Transportation and Environment, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) management team outlined $500,000 in safety upgrades for the Bay Bridge, including requiring vehicles to use their headlights at all times on the bridge.  The safety upgrades to be made in 2014 are part of $300 million in capital projects to be completed at the Bay Bridge in the next six years.

“At the Bay Bridge alone, the MDTA has invested more than $210 million in safety and preservation upgrades in the last 10 years, and plans to invest $300 million more over the next six years,” said MDTA Executive Director Bruce Gartner.  “As the MDTA continues to preserve and improve our facilities, our top priority remains the safety of our customers and employees.  Through rigorous inspections, repairs, maintenance and enforcement, we can ensure the integrity of our vital infrastructure and the safety of those who travel it.”

Prior to the summer travel season, $500,000 in new safety improvements will be implemented at the Bay Bridge, including:

§  Requiring the use of headlights at all times on the bridge with “Mandatory Headlight Use Area” signs installed along both the westbound and eastbound
bridges;

§  Adding curve warning signs and 40 mph speed-limit signs prior to curve on eastbound bridge;

§  Installing “Your Speed Is” signage on the bridge;

§  Adding “Congestion Ahead” signs with flashers to activate during heavy congestion to warn motorists of the potential for slowed/stopped vehicles; and

§  Adding a “Do Not Tailgate” sign to the eastbound bridge approach during times of congestion.

Bay Bridge includes the following projects that are underway or planned:

  • Westbound Span Painting Project – $94 million
    Began – Spring 2011; Estimated Completion – Fall 2016
    This four-phase project cleans and paints the structural steel components of the westbound span -- the first full painting since it opened in 1973.  The project includes the painting of girder, deck truss, through truss and suspension spans, the suspension towers and steel rail posts. 

 

  • Cable Rewrap/Dehumidification System for Eastbound/Westbound Bridges – $54 million
    Began – Summer 2012; Estimated Completion – Fall 2015
    This project wraps the main suspension cables and installs a dehumidification system on both spans.  

 

  • Rehabilitate Suspension Span on Westbound Bridge - $50 – $60 million
    To Begin – Fall 2015; Estimated Completion – Spring 2017
    This project will rehabilitate the suspension span on the westbound bridge by installing two supplemental cables on each main cable.  The project is currently in design with construction funds to be added to the Draft FY 2015 – 2020 CTP.  The suspension cables are visually inspected each year.  Internal inspections of the cables are based on the age and condition of the cables, a procedure that follows federal guidelines.

 

  • Deck Upgrade Study of Eastbound Bridge - $10.7 million
    Began – Spring 2012; Estimated Completion – Fall 2014
    This comprehensive study of the eastbound bridge’s concrete deck will determine if the span requires a deck replacement, deck overlay or a combination of the two.

 

  • Bay Bridge Life Cycle Cost Analysis - $1 million
    Began – August 2013; Estimated Completion – Summer 2015
    This study will establish when major system preservation work and routine maintenance is required for both the eastbound and westbound bridges.  The study will determine how long until a replacement bridge is necessary based on multiple factors from structural condition to capacity and operations.  The analysis will develop various concepts for a replacement crossing, considering constructability, maintenance of traffic during construction and pedestrian/bicycle options.

As part of regular maintenance, independent, certified and nationally experienced engineering firms inspect all MDTA bridges, tunnels, roadways, lighting and signage annually, which exceeds federal inspection standards. 
During the last five years, the MDTA has strengthened its inspection program by increasing budgets and supplementing staff devoted to inspections, instituting requirements for more comprehensive hands-on inspections and enhancing procedures for addressing identified deficiencies.

For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit baybridge.com.  Follow the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov, twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 16, 2014

 

Contacts:         Cheryl Sparks, 410-537-1017          

 

NEW $30 MILLION MARYLAND HOUSE TRAVEL PLAZA ON I-95 TO OPEN BY MIDNIGHT TONIGHT

Chesapeake House in Cecil County Closes for Reconstruction

 

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority and Areas USA announce that the new $30 million Maryland House Travel Plaza along I-95 in Harford County will officially open to the public by midnight tonight.  With the Maryland House opening, the Chesapeake House Travel Plaza on I-95 in Cecil County will close for reconstruction.  Highway signs will notify motorists of the changes.

The new 42,000 square-foot Maryland House features food from Wendy’s, Phillips Seafood, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Currito, Nathan’s Famous, Auntie Anne’s and Carvel.  The new 5,700 square-foot A Plus convenience store at the Sunoco high-speed fueling station features food from Elevation Burger.  The Maryland 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;

·         LEED certified building with “green” features;

·         Staffed Welcome Center; and

·         Kids Korner seating area.

Through an innovative Public-Private Partnership (P3) with the MDTA, Areas USA is investing approximately $56 million to redesign and rebuild the Maryland House and Chesapeake House travel plazas on the JFK Memorial Highway (I-95) in northeastern Maryland.  At a Jan. 13 preview event, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Areas USA CEO Xavier Rabell, Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr., private sector representatives and other State and local officials toured the new Maryland House.

Areas USA will operate and maintain the travel plazas through 2047, while the MDTA retains ownership and oversight of the plazas.  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.


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.

·         By midnight Jan. 16, 2014: New Maryland House opens for business; Chesapeake House closes for reconstruction.

·         Summer/Fall 2014: Chesapeake House reopens for service with food concessions Earl of Sandwich, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Auntie Anne’s.

Photos of the new Maryland House and renderings of the new Chesapeake House can be found at i95mdtravelplazas.com.  Customers can provide feedback about the new Maryland House to Areas USA at 866-820-1178 or via email at guestservice@areasmail.com.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 13, 2014

 

Contacts:         Cheryl Sparks, MDTA, 410-537-1017

                        Jared Smith, Lt. Governor’s Office, 443-370-6896      

 

Lt. Governor Brown, Senator Cardin & Private Sector Partners Preview and Tour New $30 Million Maryland House Travel Plaza

Public-Private Partnership Supports 400 Construction and 575 Operating Jobs;

State to Officially Open New Facility Week of Jan. 20th

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Areas USA CEO Xavier Rabell, Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr., private sector representatives and other State and local officials today toured the new $30 million Maryland House Travel Plaza along I-95 in Harford County.  Through an innovative Public-Private Partnership (P3) with the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), Areas USA is investing approximately $56 million to redesign and rebuild the Maryland House and Chesapeake House travel plazas on the JFK Memorial Highway (I-95) in northeastern Maryland.  The Maryland House will officially open to the public the week of Jan. 20th, at which time the Chesapeake House will close for reconstruction.

“With private-sector ingenuity and teamwork, we used a creative Public-Private Partnership to rebuild two aging travel plazas, create jobs and meet the transportation needs of our State,” said Lt. Governor Brown.  “Even in tough economic times, our Administration has sought innovative approaches, like Public-Private Partnerships, to deliver crucial transportation projects that rebuild our infrastructure, put people back to work and strengthen our economy.”

“The new Maryland House will be an oasis for millions of travelers and a foundation for quality jobs and economic growth for Maryland. It’s a great example of what can get done when government and the private sector work together to benefit our local communities,” said Senator Cardin. “I am confident this project will serve as a model for addressing the complex needs of our State in the future.”

Areas USA will operate and maintain the travel plazas through 2047, while the MDTA retains ownership and oversight of the plazas.  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.

The 42,000 square-foot Maryland House includes the following amenities:

·         Contemporary design and natural lighting,

·         High-speed fueling,

·         Additional bus parking and indoor/outdoor seating,

·         Free Wi-Fi,

·         Modern restroom facilities and equipment,

·         LEED certified building with “green” features,

·         Staffed Welcome Center, and

·         Kids Korner seating area.

When the new Maryland House opens to the public the week of Jan. 20th, the facility will offer food from Wendy’s, Phillips Seafood, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jerry’s Subs & Pizza, Currito, Nathan’s Famous, Auntie Anne’s and Carvel.  The new 5,700 square-foot A Plus convenience store at the Sunoco high-speed fueling station features food from Elevation Burger.

“We’re pleased to unveil this exceptional facility and introduce a new level of customer service to the millions of people who visit Maryland’s travel plazas each year,” said Xavier Rabell, CEO of Areas USA. “Working in conjunction with the Maryland Transportation Authority and our many local partners, we have created an innovative facility that offers classic brands, convenient access and essential services, all within an environmentally sensitive design.”

 “Once again, under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland continues to use innovative approaches to improve our transportation infrastructure and keep pace with the growing needs of our customers,” said MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr.  “The Areas USA team, with significant local and minority business participation, is delivering modern, attractive facilities with old-fashioned customer service.”

Areas USA is partnering with multiple Maryland firms, several of which are minority-owned or women-owned businesses, including:

·         Ayers Saint Gross - Lead designer, Baltimore;

·         Clark Construction - Contractor, Bethesda;

·         Cain Contracting, Inc. - Sub-contractor, Columbia - Minority owned;

·         WBCM - Civil and traffic engineer, Baltimore;

·         Aria Environmental, Inc. - Environmental design, Woodbine - Woman owned;

·         Cagley & Associates - Structural engineer, Rockville - Minority owned;

·         4 Evergreen Lawncare, LLC - Landscape maintenance, Baltimore - Minority owned; and

·         NMP Engineering Consultants, Inc. - Water resources engineering, Hunt Valley - Minority owned.

In addition, Areas USA worked with numerous local community groups in its employment efforts, including hiring nine homeless veterans through the Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center program and several individuals with special needs through the Bayside Community Network.

The original Maryland House opened in November 1963 with what was then called the Northeastern Expressway (I-95).  It 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 Cecil County 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 P3:

·         January 2012: Travel Plaza P3 Agreement with Areas USA approved by MDTA Board.

·         March 2012: Travel Plaza P3 Agreement approved by Board of Public Works.

·         Sept. 16, 2012: Areas USA becomes new travel-plaza concessionaire.  The Maryland House closed for reconstruction; the Chesapeake House remains open.

·         Spring 2013: Construction begins on new Chesapeake House adjacent to existing facility.

·         Week of Jan. 20th, 2014: Maryland House expected to reopen; Chesapeake House closes for reconstruction.

·         Summer/Fall 2014: Chesapeake House reopens for service with food concessions Earl of Sandwich, Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Auntie Anne’s.

Photos of the new Maryland House and renderings of the new Chesapeake House can be found at i95mdtravelplazas.com.  Once open to the public, customers can provide feedback about the new Maryland House to Areas USA at 866-820-1178 or via email at guestservice@areasmail.com.  Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA, facebook.com/TheMDTA and mdta.maryland.gov.

###

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 19, 2013

 

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks

                        410-537-1017

 

MDTA APPROVES TOLLING PLAN FOR

I-95 EXPRESS TOLL LANES SET TO OPEN LATE 2014

 

Toll Rates Set at Lowest End of Approved Tolling Plan

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Based on careful review of input gathered during the September 19 to November 4, 2013, public comment period including three public hearings, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) today announced the approved tolling plan and toll rates for the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) between I-895 and just north of MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) in Northeast Baltimore.

When the ETL open in late 2014, drivers of two-axle vehicles with E-ZPass will pay $1.75 during peak hours, $1.40 during off-peak hours and $0.70 overnight per trip on the new lanes.  The toll schedule is derived from a two-axle peak toll rate of $0.25/mile, off-peak rate of $0.20/mile and overnight rate of $0.10/mile.

“The I-95 Express Toll Lanes will help reduce congestion and will provide a choice to motorists who desire a more reliable travel time,” said MDTA Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner.  “Motorists who choose not to use the ETL will still benefit as the new lanes will remove vehicles from the I-95 general-purpose lanes.  The Express Toll Lanes are part of a comprehensive I-95 Improvement Project focused on enhancing highway safety along this vital economic corridor.”

The approved tolling plan includes mileage rate ranges for two-axle vehicles (passenger vehicles, motorcycles and light trucks) at $0.25 to $0.35 per-mile for peak periods, $0.20 to $0.30 per-mile for off-peak periods and $0.10 to $0.30 per-mile for overnight periods  (NOTE: tolled distance is seven miles).

 

Peak Periods

Southbound

  • Monday - Friday, 6:00 - 9:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

 

Northbound

  • Monday - Friday, 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Overnight Period

Southbound and Northbound
9:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m. Daily

Off-Peak Periods

All other times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The $1.08 billion I-95 Improvement Project includes $756 million in significant highway and safety enhancements and the construction of two new ETL in each direction of I-95, adjacent to the existing four general-purpose (non-tolled) lanes, between I-895 and just north of MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard).  The I-95 ETL are “through” lanes for drivers traveling to destinations north and south of I-695 (Baltimore Beltway). 

Major I-95 safety upgrades include:

  • 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.

Motorists will be able to access the ETL from I-95, I-895, MD 43 at I-95 and Moravia Road at I-895.  For a map and video of the I-95 Improvement Project with ETL, including where motorists can enter and exit the ETL, visit mdta.maryland.gov/ETL/Home

Please refer to the final public notice included with this news release for the ETL tolling plan.  Visit mdta.maryland.gov to view the toll rate schedules, public-comment summary and ETL map.  Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 5, 2013

Contact:           Cheryl M. Sparks

                        410-537-1017                             

 

**REVISED - MEETING DATE CHANGE**

MDTA RECOMMENDS ADOPTING I-95 EXPRESS TOLL LANES

TOLLING PLAN PROPOSED IN SEPTEMBER

MDTA Board to Take Final Action on Dec. 19

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Based on careful review of input gathered during the Sept. 19 to Nov. 4, 2013, public comment period and three public hearings, MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) staff today recommended adopting the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) tolling plan that the MDTA Board proposed on Sept.19. 

The staff-recommended mileage rate ranges for two-axle vehicles (passenger vehicles, motorcycles and light trucks) are $0.25 to $0.35 per-mile for proposed peak periods, $0.20 to $0.30 per-mile for off-peak periods and $0.10 to $0.30 per-mile for overnight periods.  (NOTE: tolled distance is seven miles.) 

The staff recommendation will be reviewed and then considered for adoption by the MDTA Board on Dec.19.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend and provide comments to the Board at the Dec. 19 meeting, which will begin at 9 a.m. at the I-95 ETL Project Office, 8019 Corporate Drive, Suite F, in White Marsh, Md. 

Once the Board approves the tolling plan, the actual ETL toll rates will be set by MDTA’s Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner within the approved mileage rate ranges.  MDTA Chairman James T. Smith, Jr., and Board Members have urged the Executive Secretary to set the rates at the low end of the ranges.

The $1.08 billion I-95 Improvement Project includes $756 million in significant highway and safety enhancements and the construction of two new ETL in each direction of I-95, adjacent to the existing four general-purpose (non-tolled) lanes, between I-895 and just north of MD 43 (White Marsh Boulevard).  The I-95 ETL are “through” lanes for drivers traveling to destinations north and south of I-695/Baltimore Beltway.  The MDTA anticipates opening the I-95 ETL to traffic in late 2014.

Major I-95 safety upgrades include:

·         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.

The Sept.19 public notice with the specifics on the proposed tolling plan is attached.  Visit mdta.maryland.gov to view the staff recommendation, public-comment summary and ETL map.  Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA

 

# # #

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 25, 2013

Contact:  Cheryl M. Sparks, 410-537-1017       

      

MDTA NAMES BRUCE W. GARTNER

AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

 

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board has named Bruce W. Gartner to lead the 1,700-employee agency that oversees the State’s eight toll facilities and the E-ZPass Maryland system effective Dec. 11.  Mr. Gartner has been serving a dual role since June 2013 when he was named Acting MDTA Executive Secretary while also serving as Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy and Freight for the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT).

“Bruce has a keen sense of policy development, fiscal responsibility and the legislative process at both the state and federal levels,” said MDTA Chairman and Maryland Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr.  “He never hesitates to roll up his sleeves, put in the long hours and get the job done.  His extensive experience with Maryland’s transportation system will serve our citizens well as the MDTA continues significant investments to preserve and enhance our State’s tunnels, toll roads and signature bridges.”

Mr. Gartner has nearly 24 years of experience in transportation policy management.  Before being named Director of MDOT’s Office of Policy and Governmental Affairs in 2007, he served at the MDTA as its Director of Strategic Development for four years.  Mr. Gartner also served in several other roles at MDOT, including State Legislative Officer and Operating Budget Manager.  Prior to joining MDOT, he worked as the transportation budget analyst for the Maryland General Assembly. 

As MDTA Executive Secretary, Mr. Gartner manages the agency’s daily operations, including the nationally accredited MDTA Police; a $270 million annual operating budget; and $2.2 billion six-year capital program.  He also works with MDTA Board members to establish policy and direction for the agency. 

“I’m incredibly honored to have the trust of the Chairman and Board members and am excited to once again be a full-time part of the MDTA team,” said Mr. Gartner.  “We’re a public-service agency that’s 1,700 strong and doing great things for Maryland. I look forward to building on MDTA’s efforts to improve customer service, safety, efficient travel and financial stewardship.”

A resident of Annapolis, Mr. Gartner graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Master of Science in Public Policy Analysis.

 The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is an independent State agency that   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.
Follow the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov, twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA .

 

                        ### 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 21, 2013

Contact:          Cheryl Sparks or Kelly Melhem

 410-537-1017

 

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION

TO REPLACE NICE BRIDGE OVER POTOMAC RIVER

Funds for design and right of way advance project

to replace 72-year-old, two-lane bridge

 

BALTIMORE, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) Board has approved an additional $50 million in its final six-year capital program (FY 2014 – FY 2019) to fund initial design and right-of-way acquisition for the project to replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301), which connects Charles County, Md., and King George County, Va., across the Potomac River. 

“Together, with the support of local elected officials and federal partners, we are making a significant down payment on a wider, safer and more pedestrian-friendly Nice Bridge,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Southern Maryland residents have long waited for a new bridge, and this $50 million investment brings the new bridge one step closer to reality.  There is more work to be done, but I commend the leadership of U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer and Maryland Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton for working with the State to advance this crucial project.”

The new four-lane bridge will be built parallel to, and north of, the existing bridge.  The new bridge also will have a two-way bicycle / pedestrian path.  The existing bridge will be removed upon completion of the new bridge.  A designated path on each shore will guide bicyclists and pedestrians to the appropriate outside shoulder along US 301.  Currently, 17,900 vehicles cross the bridge each day, with traffic projected to increase to 37,000 vehicles per day by 2030.  The planning phase of the project was completed in fall 2012.

“I’m pleased Governor O’Malley announced today $50 million in funding for design and right-of-way acquisition for the Nice Bridge replacement, which will benefit Southern Maryland residents, businesses, and commuters once completed,” stated Congressman Hoyer. “Improving our infrastructure and ensuring that it is safer and more user-friendly is critically important to spurring economic growth in our communities. I thank the O’Malley-Brown Administration for making the bridge replacement a top priority and look forward to working with the Administration, the Maryland Congressional Delegation, Senator Mac Middleton, and others to see this replacement through to completion.”

“I am immensely grateful for the Transportation Authority’s action to allocate $50 million to the Harry Nice Bridge project,” said Senator Middleton.  “This is one giant step in making the bridge replacement a reality. I will continue to work with the Authority to move this project forward as money becomes available and appreciate that it has been identified as their number one expansion priority.”

With today’s announcement, the MDTA plans to spend $56.1 million between fiscal years 2014-2019 for initial design and the purchase of right of way needed in both Maryland and Virginia for a new Nice Bridge. The initial design work will determine the type of bridge structure and where the bridge’s support piers would be placed in the Potomac River, among other design elements.

Construction of the new bridge is estimated to cost nearly $1 billion.  The project is not currently funded for construction.

Follow the MDTA at mdta.maryland.gov, twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.

 

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