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Date: Nov 25, 2013

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

 

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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 .

 

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