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Date: Apr 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2012

Media Contacts:

Takirra Winfield 
Office:  410-974-2316
Cell:  443-336-1475

Raquel Guillory
Office: 410-974-2316
Cell: 410-919-3206

Jack Cahalan, MDOT 
410-865-1025

BEVERLEY SWAIM-STALEY TO STEP DOWN AS MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY 
First woman to hold the position departs after 25 years of state service 

ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 30, 2012) – Beverley Swaim-Staley, the first woman to be appointed as Maryland’s Transportation Secretary, announced today that she will step down from that position after 25 years of state service.  Ms. Swaim-Staley was appointed Secretary by Governor Martin O’Malley in September 2009.  Prior to taking the position she had served as Deputy Transportation Secretary from 2007-2009.  She had previously served as Deputy Secretary from 1999 through 2003 during which time she also directed all operations at BWI Marshall Airport following the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the subsequent revolution in airport security. Ms. Swaim-Staley’s resignation is effective July 1 of this year to allow for an orderly transition.

“When Beverley joined our team over five years ago, she was widely recognized for her seasoned leadership,” said Governor O’Malley.  “Throughout her tenure, she has solidified her reputation as a skilled and forward thinking executive.  With her strong background in both finance and transportation, Beverley guided our transportation efforts during the most difficult economic downturn this country has faced in generations.  Despite the economic challenges, we made significant progress including the development of an award winning public-private partnership at the Port of Baltimore and the opening of the Intercounty Connector.  I thank her for her years of service.”

In addition to the milestones reached involving the Port of Baltimore and the ICC, during Ms. Swaim-Staley’s tenure she served as Maryland’s senior representative on the inter-jurisdictional effort to strengthen safety and improve the governance of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority; oversaw the application of state-of-the-art technology to modernize customer service at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration; improved reliability and on-time performance of the MARC commuter rail system; and, shepherded efforts required to maintain the fiscal health of both the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transportation Authority that operates and maintains the State’s eight toll facilities. 

As Secretary, Ms. Swaim-Staley directed initiatives to assure Maryland’s national prominence in the area of minority business development by enhancing the State’s Minority Business Enterprise Program.  She also developed the first office within MDOT dedicated to comprehensively addressing equity and diversity issues. Ms. Swaim-Staley was recently named by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials as one of the nation’s most influential women in the transportation industry.  In 2010, she was named by the Maryland Washington Minority Contractors’ Association as the Most Inclusive Government Leader of the Year for Minority Business Enterprise.

“It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Maryland throughout my professional career,” said Ms. Swaim-Staley.  “I chose to make transportation the focus of my government service because I believe it is one of those key areas of government where you can make a positive impact on the lives of citizens across the state.  I thank Governor O’Malley and the citizens of Maryland for this tremendous opportunity.  I also thank the thousands of employees throughout MDOT who made our collective progress possible.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2012

Contact: John Sales
410-537-1017

SPEED CAMERA ENFORCEMENT CONTINUES IN
I-95 EXPRESS TOLL LANES WORK ZONE

BALTIMORE, MD - As part of the Maryland SafeZones Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) program, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) and MDTA Police, in coordination with the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and Maryland State Police (MSP), will continue deploying ASE equipment for the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETLs) Project in Northeast Baltimore. Beginning April 30, the ASE equipment will be deployed on I-95 between the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway (I-895) and White Marsh Boulevard (MD 43). This equipment will be used to slow drivers in the ETLs work zone that stretches along eight miles of I-95.

The I-95 ETLs work zone has included SafeZones ASE equipment since the pilot program began in 2009. Advanced warning signs are in place prior to the work zone to alert drivers of automated speed enforcement use, while a speed trailer will display drivers speeds. By law, if a vehicle is recorded as traveling 12 or more miles over the posted speed limit (the posted speed is 55 mph at this location), a $40 fine will be issued to the registered owner of the vehicle.

Maryland SafeZones goal is to slow drivers and make work zones safer environments for workers, drivers and passengers. Even when workers are not present, work zones can be dangerous due to uneven pavement, lane shifts, reduced shoulders and other modifications. On average, 12 people are killed per year and nearly 1,500 injured in crashes in work zones in Maryland. In addition to this work zone location, the MDTAs joint replacement project on the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge (I-95) in Harford and Cecil counties, along with other SHA work zones throughout the State, feature SafeZones enforcement. For more information on the program, visit www.safezones.maryland.gov.

For more information on the I-95 ETLs Project or MDTAs other construction projects, visit www.mdta.maryland.gov. The MDTA thanks its customers for their patience and reminds them to Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2012

Contact:          Kelly Melhem or John Sales

                        410-537-1017

PROJECT TO REHABILITATE FOUNDATIONS OF HATEM BRIDGE BEGINS
Minimal impacts to local traffic

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces a $48 million project to perform foundation and substructure repairs to the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) in Harford and Cecil counties.  This preservation project, funded completely by toll revenue, consists of underwater repairs to 10 concrete piers supporting the Hatem Bridge.

The work zone will be in the Susquehanna River and will have minimal impact to vehicular and navigational traffic.  Minimal daytime traffic impacts are anticipated due to the equipment staging area, located on the 600 block of Water Street in Havre de Grace, and delivery of materials.  No lane closures on US 40 will be required.  Intermittent concrete pours may occur during the night and result in higher than normal levels of noise.  Work sequencing occurs as follows:

Stage 1:

  • Excavation of the river bottom surrounding the piers to remove stone and debris, followed by installation of “cofferdams” around the piers.  A cofferdam is a temporary watertight enclosure that is pumped dry to expose the bridge foundations.  Construction of each cofferdam may take about one month to complete.
  • Removal of earth inside the cofferdam to expose existing bridge foundations. 
  • Concrete placement inside the excavated cofferdam to create a protective layer for the existing “sub” foundation and to form a seal for the bottom of the cofferdam.  The seal will allow the water inside the cofferdam to be pumped out, exposing the foundation of the bridge so that repairs can be made.

Stage 2:

  • Repairing piers inside cofferdams, including removing and replacing deteriorated concrete, reinforcing steel, repairing cracks, strengthening columns and constructing a protective reinforced concrete encasement around the repaired foundations.

Stage 3:

  • Removing the cofferdams and restoring the river bottom to its original condition.

Excavated material will be transported and disposed of at the Maryland Port Administration’s Cox Creek Disposal site.  Environmental restrictions will be in effect between November 1 and April 1 on work that could disturb the river’s bottom.  To the extent possible, the project was designed to minimize the disturbance or loss of submerged aquatic vegetation beds.

This project, anticipated to be complete by fall 2014, is being performed by McLean Contracting Company of Glen Burnie, Md.  A similar project began last fall on the Millard E. Tydings Memorial Bridge on the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (Interstate 95).  For information on the MDTA’s other facility preservation projects, or to view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit www.mdta.maryland.gov.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 3, 2012

Contact:          Kelly Melhem or John Sales

                        410-537-1017

PRESERVATION PROJECTS ON I-95, I-895 and I-695 OVERPASSES AND RAMPS

BALTIMORE, MD The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) announces the start of nearly $11 million in bridge preservation projects on Interstates 95, 895 and 695.  These projects, funded completely by toll revenue, are part of the MDTAs commitment to preserving and maintaining the States aging toll bridges, tunnels and highways.

A 1.5 year, $6.4 million project to preserve seven overpass and ramp bridges on I-95 south of the Fort McHenry Tunnel, in the area of Russell Street, is being performed by Concrete General of Gaithersburg, Md.  Work involves repairs to steel girders and cleaning and painting steel beam ends to address current wear and prevent future wear.  In addition to off-peak lane closures, temporary overnight closures and detours of the ramps from southbound Monroe Street to southbound MD 295 and from southbound I-95 to southbound MD 295 are anticipated.

On the southern portion of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway (I-895), in the area of Washington Boulevard (US 1), a $3.2 million project to clean and paint five overpass and ramp bridges will take place through this fall.  Titan Industrial Services of Baltimore is performing the work, which will help maintain the bridges structural integrity.  Work may necessitate temporary off-peak lane closures or detours on northbound and southbound I-895 at US 1, including the US 1 ramps, in order for crews to install and remove painting containment.

South of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, Reglas Painting Company, Inc., of Baltimore is performing work on 11 overpass bridges on I-695 in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County.  The majority of the work involves cleaning and painting of all steel surfaces and will be conducted below the bridges.  Shoulder closures and off-peak lane closures may be implemented as needed.  The $1.3 million project, expected to be complete this fall, will help maintain the bridges structural integrity. 

The Fort McHenry Tunnel, Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Thruway and Francis Scott Key Bridge and their approach roadways and ramps were opened in 1985, 1957 and 1977 respectively.

Motorists should be aware of electronic message signs that will display closure and/or detour information.  For information on the MDTAs 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. 

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