Skip Navigation

Skip to Main Content

MDTA News Releases

MDTA News Releases with RSS Feed

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.

###

Toll Dollars at WorkFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2016
 
Contact: John Sales
410-537-1017
 

MAJOR PROJECT BEGINS ON I-895 BRIDGE OVER PATAPSCO RIVER FLATS SOUTH OF BALTIMORE CITY

Follow #i895bmore and @TheMDTA on Twitter Use I-95 as Alternate Route

 

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $48.5 million bridge deck and superstructure replacement for the bridge carrying I-895 over the Patapsco River Flats, located between Exit 4 (MD 295) and Exit 6 (I-97 and MD 2 spur road). This preservation project, funded completely by toll revenue, is part of the MDTA's commitment to preserving and maintaining the state's aging toll bridges, tunnels and highways.

 
Weather permitting, the right lane on northbound I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge will be closed continuously (24/7) starting Monday, July 18, at 10 p.m. for the first stage of construction.
 
Lane Diagram Patapsco Flats
A 24/7 right lane closure on southbound I-895 across the bridge will begin in early August. Southbound traffic approaching the work zone will have to keep right to use Exit 6 and stay left to remain on I-895. When this stage is complete in the fall, the northbound and southbound right lanes will reopen and the left lanes will be closed continuously.
 
In later stages of construction, there will be two-way traffic on southbound I-895 - one lane in each direction - for about one year while crews work on the northbound side of the bridge. When complete, two-way traffic will operate on northbound I-895 for about one year while crews work on the southbound side.
 
Motorists should expect delays during peak travel times and use I-95/Fort McHenry Tunnel as an alternate route. The MDTA will update motorists on changing traffic patterns via traffic advisories, social media and mdta.maryland.gov.
 
The entire project is anticipated to be complete in summer 2019. McLean Contracting Company of Glen Burnie will replace the bridge's superstructure in its entirety, which will reduce the number of bridge joints for a smoother ride. Work also includes concrete removal and repairs. The MDTA is taking the necessary steps to protect the marshland during construction. The Patapsco Flats bridge was built in 1957 and underwent minor rehabilitation four years ago.
 
Motorists should pay attention to electronic and static signs for up-to-date travel information. 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.
 
The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2016

 

**REMINDER**

BICYCLE ACCESS ON HATEM BRIDGE BEGINS JULY 1

Share the Bridge & Cross with Care

Bikes Allowed Weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. & Weekends Dawn to Dusk

BALTIMORE, MD – As announced in February by Transportation Secretary and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Chairman Pete K. Rahn, bicyclists will be allowed to cross the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) starting Friday, July 1.  State transportation officials are urging bicyclists and motorists to Share the Bridge and Cross with Care

Bicyclists will be allowed to cross the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from dawn to dusk Saturday, Sunday and state holidays.  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.

Note: Cyclists not wanting to cross the bridge by bicycle may still use a taxi or local bus service (weekdays only) to cross the bridge.

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.

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

June 10, 2016

 

**REMINDER**

BICYCLE ACCESS ON HATEM BRIDGE BEGINS JULY 1

Share the Bridge & Cross with Care

Bikes Allowed Weekdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. & Weekends Dawn to Dusk

BALTIMORE, MD – As announced in February by Transportation Secretary and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Chairman Pete K. Rahn, bicyclists will be allowed to cross the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) starting Friday, July 1.  State transportation officials are urging bicyclists and motorists to Share the Bridge and Cross with Care

Bicyclists will be allowed to cross the bridge from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and from dawn to dusk Saturday, Sunday and state holidays.  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.

Note: Cyclists not wishing to cross the bridge by bicycle may still use a taxi or local bus service (weekdays only) to cross the bridge.

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.

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

 

Contacts: MTA Media Relations
                 
Sandy Arnette: 410-767-8367
                 
Paul Shepard: 410-767-3935

 

MDTA Police Media Relations
                 
First Sgt. Jonathan Green: 410-977-5772

 

MDOT Media Relations
                
Erin Henson, Teri Moss: 410-865-1025

 

Maryland Department of Transportation Congratulates
Police Academy Graduates

 

New Police Officers to Protect Port, Airport, Transit, Tunnels, Bridges
and Tolled Highways

 

BALTIMORE, MD (JUNE 9, 2016) - The Maryland Department of Transportation and Secretary Pete K. Rahn congratulate this year's police academy recruit officers as they graduate tonight after finishing seven months of rigorous training and certification. Joint training was conducted by certified Maryland Department of Transportation' s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) police academy training instructors. Police officers will protect Maryland's citizens and visitors, serving at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore/Washington International Airport, and transit facilities, and at the state's tolled tunnels, bridges and highways.

During the graduation ceremony at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium, police recruits were addressed, took the Oath of Office and received their badges designating them as police officers. Awards were presented to class members for exceptional performance during the training program.

The academy class of 19 MTA police recruits and four MDTA police recruits illustrates the strong working relationship between both agencies.

"As one MDOT, we're keeping Maryland's citizens and visitors safe and secure as they use vital transportation assets throughout the state from the port and the airport to transit and our tunnels and bridges," said Deputy Transportation Secretary R. Earl Lewis, Jr. "I know with each call and every person our officers help, their training, professionalism and integrity will be front and center."

"We are pleased this new class of MTA police officers will help build on our record of being the safest transit system in America with the lowest number of serious crimes for any major transit system in 2014 and 2015," said MTA Administrator/CEO Paul Comfort. "The state's police academy transit policing program highlights our commitment to achieving our goal of offering safe, efficient and reliable transit with world-class customer service."

"Partnering is critical to law enforcement," said MDTA Police Chief Colonel Jerry Jones. "The MDTA and MTA police forces serve side-by-side to protect Marylanders as they use our transportation system. I'm proud of our new officers and of our academy staff who worked diligently these last seven months to instill the core values and character these officers will rely on throughout their law enforcement careers."

Dignitaries who attended today's ceremony are Deputy Secretary Lewis, Deputy Secretary James

F. Ports, MTA Administrator/CEO Comfort, MDTA Executive Director Milt Chaffee, MDTA Police Col. Jones and MTA Police Col. John Gavrilis.

The MTA Police are among the top 12 transit police agencies in the nation with more than 200 sworn and civilian professionals. The MTA recently captured both the prestigious Gold Award for Safety and the Gold Award for Security from the American Public Transportation Association - awards given to agencies with the best overall bus safety or bus security programs.

The MDTA Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh largest law enforcement agency in Maryland with more than 600 sworn and civilian professionals. MDTA Police are responsible for law enforcement at the MDTA's highways, tunnels and bridges, the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. The force is one of

15 law enforcement agencies nationwide that is certified through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) under its Tri-Arc Award of Excellence.

About the MTA

Maryland Department of Transportation's Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MTA operates Local and Commuter buses, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service, and a comprehensive Paratransit (Mobility) system. MTA also manages the Taxi Access system, and directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) in each of Maryland's 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City. The MTA's mission is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. To learn more, visit mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtaamaryland.

About the MDTA

Since 1971, the Maryland Department of Transportation's Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has been responsible for constructing, managing, operating and improving the State's toll facilities, as well as financing new revenue producing transportation projects. The MDTA's eight toll facilities - two turnpikes, two tunnels and four bridges - help keep traffic moving in Maryland. All of the MDTA's projects and services are funded through tolls paid by the customers who use MDTA facilities. For more than four decades, the MDTA has provided Maryland's citizens and visitors safe and convenient transportation facilities.