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Date: 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 20, 2012

Contact:          Kelly Melhem

                        410-537-1017

FHWA SIGNS OFF ON NICE BRIDGE PLANNING STUDY
Selected Alternative Includes New Four Lane Bridge with Bike/Ped Path;
Planning Phase of Nice Bridge Improvement Project Now Complete

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) has completed a six-year study to select an alternative to eventually replace the 72-year-old, two-lane Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301), which connects Charles County, Md., and King George County, Va., across the Potomac River. 

The final environmental document for the Nice Bridge Improvement Project – the Finding of No Significant Impact/Final Section 4(f) Evaluation or FONSI – was recently signed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), signaling the end to the project’s planning phase.

“Just the planning alone for this project was a significant undertaking, involving extensive input from federal, state and local agencies, elected officials and the public.  I want to thank all who contributed to this effort,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Darrell B. Mobley.   “The significant challenge of moving this project forward and funding the estimated $850 million construction project remains.  We will continue to work with our federal and local partners to develop a path that will make the eventual replacement of the Nice Bridge a reality at some point in the future.” 

The planning study was performed and completed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If funding becomes available, the next steps include final engineering/design, right-of-way acquisition and construction of the bridge.

“Making strategic investments in our local infrastructure is critical to supporting the local flow of commerce, boosting our economic competitiveness, and ensuring the safety of our residents,” stated Congressman Steny H. Hoyer. “That’s why I strongly support making investments needed to eventually replace the Nice Bridge, which serves as a critical evacuation route in the event of a national disaster or security alert and links the region’s military facilities, contractors, suppliers, and businesses. With the planning phase complete, I will continue working with federal, state, and local officials to identify funding needed to move this project forward.”

The alternative selected (Modified Alternate 7) consists of a new four-lane bridge built parallel to and north of the existing bridge, with a two-way bicycle/pedestrian path along the south side, and removal of the existing bridge.  A designated path on each shore would guide bikers and pedestrians to the appropriate outside shoulder along the US 301 approach roadway.  Inclusion of a bike/ped path reflects public comments and recently enacted State legislation. 

“This is exciting news for Charles County and the region,” said Maryland Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton.  “This is a big step forward on a project that will improve transportation, security and the economy for Southern Marylanders.  I am grateful to Governor O’Malley and the Maryland Transportation Authority for working with us to make it a priority.”

The FONSI/4(f) document will be available at mdta.maryland.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Dec. 6, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

DECK REPLACEMENT PROJECT BEGINS ON THREE I-895 BRIDGES IN BALTIMORE CITY
Work Includes 24/7 Ramp Closures Starting On Or About Jan. 7, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $12.6 million deck replacement project is underway on three bridges carrying I-895 over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street, south of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel.  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.

I-895 Ramp Closure Map

Construction is expected to last approximately 1.5 years.  Work includes continuous (24/7) ramp closures starting in early January.  The entrance ramp from Potee Street/ Patapsco Avenue to northbound I-895 will be closed on or about Jan. 7, 2013, for approximately six months.  Once the work on the entrance ramp is complete, the I-895 Exit 7 (Potee Street) ramp will be closed in June 2013 for approximately six months.

The Six-M Company, Inc. will replace the bridge decks on the I-895 bridges over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street.  Work also includes painting and repairing the substructure and superstructure of the bridges.  Milling and overlaying of mainline I-895 between the K-Truss steel bridge and Exit 6 (MD 2/I-97) will be performed along with drainage improvements.

During the six-month closure of the Potee Street /Patapsco Avenue entrance ramp, a detour will direct motorists to northbound I-895 via Frankfurst Avenue.  During the six-month closure of the Potee Street exit ramp, a detour will direct motorists to I-895 Exit 3 (I-695 INNER LOOP), to Exit 10 (Washington Boulevard), to Patapsco Avenue.

The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway and its approach roadways and ramps, including the I-895 bridges over Patapsco Avenue, Potee Street and Hanover Street, opened in 1957.  Other contracts in the area include cleaning and painting projects that are underway for various bridges along I-895.  A bridge deck overlay project for the ramp from northbound I-97 to northbound I-895 is anticipated to start early 2013.

Portable and overhead electronic message signs will display travel information.  For information on the MDTA’s other facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  For statewide travel conditions, visit www.MD511.ORG or call 511.

Follow the MDTA at www.twitter.com/TheMDTA and www.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

Nov. 30, 2012

Contact:  Sgt. Jonathan Green 410-537-7724 or 410-977-5772 (cell)

          

BRING YOUR TOYS FOR TOTS ON YOUR COMMUTE

BALTIMORE, MD Join the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police, MDTA staff and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in the national Toys for Tots campaign at the Baltimore harbor crossings.  Since 1990, MDTA employees have collected more than 127,000 toys from customers of the toll facilities and Port of Baltimore. 

On Dec. 5, 6 and 7 from 6 to 9 a.m. and from 3 to 5 p.m., employees will collect new, unwrapped toys at the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels (I-895,

I-95/I-395) and the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) and also at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40), the Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301), the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and the Dundalk Marine Terminal.

Once again, we are excited about this opportunity for all of the citizens we serve to donate toys for those less fortunate, said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett. Each year, the men and women of the MDTA look forward to assisting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in this wonderful campaign. 

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

Toys collected at the Baltimore-area facilities will be given to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves base in northeast Baltimore for distribution. 

For more information on the MDTAs collection efforts, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  For more on the Toys for Tots program, visit toysfortots.org.

Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA or on facebook.com/TheMDTA.

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Note: If you choose to use an acronym, please refer to Maryland Transportation Authority Police as the MDTA Police. Thank you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 29, 2012

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks or John Sales

                        410-537-1017

MORE SAFETY ENHANCEMENTS TO BE ADDED TO THE BAY BRIDGE
MDTA Study Recommends Painted Buffer with Rumble Strips to Supplement
Safety Measures Already in Place

BALTIMORE, MD – The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) recently completed an evaluation of additional safety measures that could possibly be implemented at the Bay Bridge (US 50/301) during “two-way” traffic operations.  The study concluded that enhancements should be made to the current lane markings on the westbound span, including the addition of a painted buffer and continuous rumble strips.

“The MDTA is continuously looking for ways to improve safety at all of its facilities,” said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.  “We undertook this study to build on existing safety measures at the Bay Bridge.  These enhancements will provide additional visual and physical guides designed to help drivers stay alert and stay in their lane during two-way operations.”

During periods of heavy eastbound traffic, the MDTA implements two-way traffic operations by “reversing” the left lane of the westbound span (Lane 3) for use by eastbound motorists.  Currently, this process involves the use of reversible pavement markings, overhead lane-control signs and traffic cones positioned at each end of the westbound span to divide opposing traffic.

Following an extensive examination of a wide range of options, the study workgroup recommends the additional step of creating a painted buffer between Lane 3 and Lane 2 (westbound center lane) using diagonal hash marks and continuous rumble strips.  Double solid lines would create a buffer space between lanes while discouraging motorists from changing or crossing lanes.  Rumble strips, which initially were installed along portions of the bridge in 2008, have proven effective in discouraging drivers from straying from their lane.  Rumble strips will now be installed continuously along the 4.3-mile span. 

Installation of the new lane markings and rumble strips is expected to begin spring 2013 before the next summer travel season.  The MDTA will monitor the performance of these improvements and consider if those same improvements would be applicable to the eastbound span, where two-way traffic may be used to accommodate maintenance/construction on the westbound span.

“We ask motorists, both commuters and vacationers, to take an active role in their safety when crossing the bridge by keeping their eyes on the road and not passing or tailgating,” said Mr. Bartlett.  “While these may seem like simple things, they are critical safety reminders for those using the Bay Bridge.”

The study workgroup was comprised of members of Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc., a nationally recognized consultant firm, along with MDTA traffic and structural engineers, operations and police team members.  The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guidelines were also reviewed to determine the suitability of the various options being studied. 

The safety evaluation examined traffic volumes and accident history for both spans, as well as potential solutions to further reduce accidents.  While options considered ranged from changes in maintenance of traffic to physical barriers, factors that precluded alternatives from further consideration included impacts to lane widths, weight, sight distance, traffic flow, emergency response and the potential for increased rear-end or other collisions.  The Evaluation of Additional Safety Measures at the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial Bridge is available at mdta.maryland.gov.

Several improvements have been made over the past decade to improve safety on the Bay Bridge.  These include the installation of rumble strips along portions of the bridge and enhancements to the lane markings, lane-control system, signing and the procedures used by police and operations personnel for reversing the direction of travel on the bridge.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 15, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

BUSY THANKSGIVING WEEK ANTICIPATED AT MARYLANDS 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 Know Before You Go 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 traffic volumes to remain consistent with last years figures.  Between Tuesday, Nov. 20, and Sunday, Nov. 25, the MDTA expects more than 2.7 million travelers on its highways, bridges and tunnels:

  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) more than 745,000 vehicles.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) more than 682,000 vehicles.
  • William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) more than 452,000 vehicles.
  • An additional 866,000 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.
  • The Maryland House travel plaza along the JFK Highway closed for a redevelopment project this past September and is expected to reopen fall/winter 2013.  The Chesapeake House remains open for fuel and food services.
  • 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.
  • Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
    • 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.
    • Hassle-free holiday travel. It does exist.  Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass On the Go retail locations. 
    • For current toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.
    • Use the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 to get from Gaithersburg to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in 37 minutes.

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.  The MDTA also will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from Tuesday, Nov. 20, to Monday, Nov. 26.

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

  • Electronic message signs will display information on travel time, delays, incidents and alternate routes.
  • 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.
  • Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
  • Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.
  • Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
  • Make sure your vehicle is “road ready”-- one disabled vehicle can cause extensive backups.
  • 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, Nov. 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 Monday, Nov. 26.

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



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.  The MDTA also will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from Tuesday, Nov. 20, to Monday, Nov. 26.

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

·         Electronic message signs will display information on travel time, delays, incidents and alternate routes.

·         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.

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

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

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

·         Make sure your vehicle is “road ready”-- one disabled vehicle can cause extensive backups.

·         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, Nov. 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 Monday, Nov. 26.

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

 

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES MARYLAND MAKES SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR STORM RELIEF VEHICLES HEADED TO NORTHEAST

Weight Restrictions Raised, Tolls Waived for Vehicles Directly Related to Storm Relief Efforts

HANOVER, MD (November 2, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced today that Maryland is implementing a series of steps to help the rapid movement of relief assets to areas of the northeast impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Measures involving tolls, weight requirements and truck permitting are being put in place temporarily to allow relief vehicles to reach areas in need as soon as possible.

“All reasonable steps must be taken to assist relief efforts in the wake of this unprecedented storm,” said Governor O’Malley.  “I-95 and other major east coast routes that provide access to devastated areas pass directly through Maryland.  It is important that we do everything we can to get workers, equipment and utility crews through our state as quickly as possible to allow relief to flow to those areas that need it most.”

Effective at 3:00 p.m. Friday, November 2, Hurricane Sandy relief workers who travel through Maryland toll facilities will not be charged a toll through 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 6.  The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will allow clearly identified vehicles related to Sandy relief efforts (emergency vehicles, electric utility trucks, tree/debris clearing trucks and equipment, the American Red Cross) to drive through toll booths without paying.  Drivers of relief vehicles should use the FAR RIGHT toll lanes, stop at the toll booth and identify themselves to the toll collector that they are a part of the Sandy relief effort. 

The MDTA, who owns and operates Maryland’s toll facilities, anticipates most relief vehicles to travel through the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel and John F. Kennedy Highway. 

Relief vehicles traveling through other Maryland toll facilities will be provided the same waiver of tolls, but they must go through a staffed toll collector lane and identify themselves to the toll collector that they are a part of the Sandy relief effort. 

Should drivers inadvertently pass through E-ZPass dedicated lanes, a Notice of Toll Due (NOTD) statement will be generated and sent to the registered vehicle owner.  Once the NOTD is received, a company representative should contact the Maryland E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 1-888-321-6824 for a waiver of tolls/fees.

Under an Executive Order signed by Governor O’Malley, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will temporarily increase the maximum weight allowed for trucks traveling on state highways by 15 percent for vehicles moving hurricane relief assets into affected areas. This measure temporarily increases the allowable weight from 80,000 pounds to 92,000 pounds.  Loads over 92,000 pounds must still comply with normal permit requirements and are available only to non-divisible loads (i.e. heavy equipment, generators, etc.)

To help the trucking community with this permitting process, permit applications for relief efforts will be processed as soon as they are submitted.  SHA is providing after-hour and weekend on-call assistance for truckers using Maryland interstates.  Customers may call the Statewide Operations Center at 410-582-5650 or apply electronically by using SHA’s Motor Carrier Division, Hauling Permit home page at http://roads.maryland.gov/cvo.  Once issued, the permit may be displayed using SHA’s ePermit function by simply having it available for display on a mobile device carried in the vehicle.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 29, 2012

STATE AGENCIES REDUCE SPEED LIMIT TO 45 MPH ON INTERSTATES AND US ROUTES 
Marylanders Urged to Avoid Travel for Next 24-36 Hours as Strong Winds
and Heavy Rain Continues Across the State

(October 29, 2012) - 2:30 p.m.  Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), State Police (MSP) and Transportation Authority (MDTA) have lowered all speed limits on interstate and US routes to 45 mph effective immediately and until further notice. All three agencies discourage any travel during the expected upcoming height of the storm.  This reduction in speed limit also applies to all first responders, relief workers, utility crews and other essential personnel.

Lowering the speed limit in necessary since speed and high winds is a dangerous combination.  By reducing the speed limit, our goal is to keep our emergency responders safe.  For all members of the general public, we cant stress enough the importance of staying off the roads as this unprecedented storm strikes Maryland, said Maryland State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  Stay home. There are more than 12,000 people responding along state and toll roadways. By staying home you allow them, utility crews and police to do their jobs.

For more information about Sandy, view the Maryland Emergency Management Agency website at www.mema.state.md.us.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 26, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

MDTA PREPARES FOR HURRICANE SANDY
Follow the MDTA on Facebook, Twitter & 1-877-BAYSPAN for Updates

BALTIMORE, MD – As Hurricane Sandy approaches the mid-Atlantic region, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announced today that every effort will be made to keep its bridges and tunnels open during the storm, as long as conditions are safe for travelers.

Motorists crossing the Bay Bridge (US 50/301) and other bridges are reminded that bridge closures will occur when sustained wind speeds OR wind gusts exceed 55 miles per hour.  Anyone planning to travel from the Eastern Shore to the Western Shore to ride out the storm is encouraged to do so in advance of the severe weather reaching the area.

“The MDTA will use a variety of tools to monitor real-time weather conditions at all of its facilities, particularly the Bay Bridge,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Darrell B. Mobley.  “Decisions regarding traffic on the Bay Bridge will be made utilizing multiple wind sensors providing real-time wind speeds and a network of new cameras positioned along the 4.3 miles of the bridge that provide extensive views of both spans.  The MDTA also has improved procedures for closing and reopening the bridge when needed and enhanced communication and working relationships to coordinate with local EMS services.”

On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below:

  • Wind Warning (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts of 30-39 mph) – operators of house trailers, box trailers, motorcycles, vehicles with roof-mount racks containing cargo or any other vehicle that may be subject to high winds are advised to use caution while traveling across the bridge.
  • Wind Restriction I (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts of 40-49 mph) – house trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge.  Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.
  • Wind Restriction II (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts exceeding 50 mph) – only automobiles, pickup trucks, flatbed trailers, commercial buses and heavy-laden tractor/trailers are permitted to cross the bridge.  Tractor-box trailer combinations will not be permitted to cross any bridge if the gross weight is less than 64,000 pounds.
  • Traffic Holds/Bridge Closure (sustained wind speeds or wind gusts exceeding 55 mph) – In the event of a sudden increase of sustained wind speeds or wind gusts that could jeopardize life or property, the MDTA may elect to discontinue the movement of traffic across the bridge.

Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA, facebook.com/TheMDTA and mdta.maryland.gov for the most up-to-date information.  For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions, call BAYSPAN at 1-877-229-7726 or visit www.baybridge.com.  For statewide travel conditions, visit www.MD511.ORG or call 511.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency stresses awareness and preparedness as Hurricane Sandy approaches Maryland.  Go to www.mema.state.md.us for the latest storm track and preparedness information.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 25, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

ICC REACHES ONE YEAR MILESTONE NEXT MONTH
Traffic Volumes Growing as Projected

BALTIMORE, MD - As the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 approaches its one-year anniversary since opening to I-95, traffic volumes on the ICC/MD 200 are growing at a rate on average of three percent per month, according to the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA).

“Overall, daily traffic volumes are consistent with our projections for the roadway and continue to grow,” said Acting Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Darrell B. Mobley.  “With new toll facilities like MD 200, there is an expected ‘ramping up’ period during the first few years when traffic grows gradually as users become more familiar with the facility.  It is important to remember that MD 200 was designed to accommodate expected capacity in 2030 and to provide relatively congestion-free travel with reliable travel times today and for years to come.”

Between July 2011 and June 2012, more than 11.56 million trips were made on MD 200 with total revenue of $19.73 million, as compared to the projected $18.71 million, according to MDTA’s audited financial data for fiscal year 2012.

“In September, weekday traffic averaged more than 35,000 vehicles per day in the westernmost segment of the facility between I-370 and Georgia Avenue; 26,000 vehicles per weekday on the eastern segment between US 29 and I-95,” said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.  “Traffic is higher than projected on the western and center segments of the project, but is slightly lower than projected on the eastern end.”

An initial evaluation about whether or not to increase the MD 200 speed limit was recently completed.  A more detailed analysis of data showing single-vehicle accidents on MD 200 since opening to I-95 will begin next month in order to make a final decision on the speed limit increase with safety being the top priority.  A final decision on the speed limit increase is expected by the end of this year.

The MDTA opened the ICC Eastern Operations Facility near the I-95 interchange in summer 2012.  This facility includes office space for MDTA Operations and Police staff, automotive and truck repair shops, storage for winter weather materials/salt and roadway maintenance materials/equipment, and a geothermal heating and air-conditioning system.

This past spring, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) began construction on the fourth and final contract of the ICC.  Construction activity is progressing well to build collector-distributor lanes along I-95 between the ICC alignment and MD 198 and extend the ICC from its current terminus at I-95 for one additional mile to US 1.  This final ICC segment is scheduled to open to traffic in late 2013 or early 2014.

ICC tolls are collected electronically at highway speeds using E-ZPass and video-tolling technology.  To sign up for E-ZPass, visit ezpassmd.com to enroll online and for a list of

E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA, facebook.com/TheMDTA and www.mdta.maryland.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 11, 2012

Contact:          John Sales

                        410-537-1017

STEEL REPAIR PROJECT BEGINS ON CURTIS CREEKDRAWBRIDGE APPROACH SPANS

BALTIMORE, MD - The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $1.5 million project to perform steel girder repairs to the approach spans of the I-695 drawbridge over Curtis Creek, between Quarantine Road (Exit 1) and MD 10 (Exit 2), beginning this month.  This preservation project, anticipated to last approximately six months and funded completely by toll revenue, is part of the MDTAs commitment to preserving and maintaining the States aging toll bridges, tunnels and highways.

Construction includes repairs to the steel girders (structural steel) on the approach spans, the areas on either side of the main drawbridge section.  Contractor Joseph B. Fay Company of Baltimore will also clean and paint the structural steel of the repaired areas.

Single-lane closures may be in effect on the INNER LOOP and OUTER LOOP of I-695 during the following off-peak hours: daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning.  No closures are permitted the day of, preceding or following a major holiday.

The INNER LOOP of the I-695 Curtis Creek Drawbridge (one-lane of traffic in each direction) was opened when the Francis Scott Key Bridge opened in 1977.  The OUTER LOOP drawbridge span was added in 1979, resulting in two lanes of travel in each direction.  The current deck replacement project on the Curtis Creek drawbridge, which began last January, is nearing completion this month.

Portable and overhead electronic message signs will display travel information.  For information on the MDTA's other 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 TheMDTA on Twitter. 

The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!