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Date: Mar 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 28, 2013

CONTACT:    Cheryl Sparks

                        410-537-1017

                       

GOVERNOR O'MALLEY APPOINTS NEW MEMBER TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

BALTIMORE, MD - Governor Martin OMalley has appointed William K. "Bill" Hellmann of Severna Park to serve as the newest Board Member of the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA).

A 47-year veteran of the transportation industry, Mr. Hellmann is a former Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (April 1984 April 1987) and Partner Emeritus of RK&K, LLP, a Baltimore-based engineering firm.  Previously, Mr. Hellmann also served as Chief of the Interstate Division for Baltimore City. 

"The MDTA is responsible for some of the State's most vital transportation projects, including the extensive work to preserve our tunnels, bridges and highways," said Governor OMalley. "Mr. Hellmann's significant expertise and transportation knowledge will contribute greatly to the MDTA and to our investment in Maryland's future."

Mr. Hellmann is a Professional Engineer and holds a bachelor's in civil engineering from the University of Maryland.  He also has served on numerous State boards and committees, including the Maryland Stadium Authority, Transportation Review Committee, Task Force on Privatization, Land Use/Economic Development Subcommittee of Maryland's Growth Commission, Commission on Transportation Investment, Transit Policy Panel, Transportation Opportunities Committee and the Transportation Funding Task Force. 

"Mr. Hellmann's extensive engineering and public service experience will help keep the MDTA on solid ground during this critical time for our State's transportation network," said Acting MDTA Chairman and Transportation Secretary Darrell B. Mobley. 

Mr. Hellmann has begun serving his term after being officially sworn in by the clerk of the court in Annapolis on March 27.

"I look forward to working with the other Members and the Executive Secretary of the MDTA in moving the agency forward," said Hellmann.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is an independent State agency that finances, owns and operates the States toll facilities. The MDTAs Board Members, appointed by the Governor with consent of the State Senate, serve as the agencys policy-setting and governing body.  Maryland's Secretary of Transportation serves as MDTA Chairman.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                

March 27, 2013

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks or John Sales                                                                

                        410-537-1017

                               ICC SPEED LIMIT INCREASES TO 60 MPH                    

                             Changes will occur gradually between March 29-30

BALTIMORE, MD The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) will begin changing roadway signs to officially increase the posted speed limit on the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 from 55 mph to 60 mph.  Weather-permitting, on Friday, March 29, signs on westbound MD 200 will be changed to 60 mph; on Saturday, March 30, the eastbound MD 200 signs will be changed to 60 mph.  New warning signs for curves have also been added.

"Following months of careful deliberation and a detailed engineering study and crash analysis, I'm pleased that we are able to safely raise the ICC speed limit to 60 mph," said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.  "We needed one year of ICC operations and full consideration of the design speed and geometry of the roadway to ensure that a 60 mph speed limit is safe and justifiable."

With the crash analysis, traffic engineers examined vehicular crashes for the ICCs first year of operations between I-270 and I-95.  The analysis helped the MDTA confirm that the speed limit may be safely raised to 60 mph.

The MDTA anticipates that drivers traveling the ICC from end to end may save approximately 1 ½ minutes of travel time with the speed increase.   

Designed for 60 mph, the ICC has vertical and horizontal constraints along its length.  To reduce environmental impacts, the ICCs footprint was minimized, leading to these geometric constraints and the lower design speed.

The engineering study and crash analysis are available at mdta.maryland.gov.  Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 27, 2013

Contact:  Cheryl M. Sparks

                410-537-1017

MDTA NAMES CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

 

BALTIMORE, MD The MD Transportation Authority (MDTA), which finances, owns and operates the States eight toll facilities, has named Percy Dangerfield as Chief Administrative Officer. 

Mr. Dangerfield previously served as Chief of Staff for the Department of Port Control in Cleveland, Ohio, where he oversaw the agency and its $154 million operating budget, $233 million capital budget and more than 500 employees. He also supervised leadership team members responsible for operations, information technology, procurement, marketing, finance, planning and engineering, among others.

Prior to his work in Cleveland, Mr. Dangerfield served as Manager of the Business and Economic Division and as Assistant Chief of Diversity and Special Initiatives for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

The administrative support function at MDTA is a complex and challenging responsibility. Mr. Dangerfield brings a wealth of solid knowledge and experience in the planning, execution and improvement of administrative processes, said Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.

As the MDTAs Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Dangerfield will direct the agencys administrative functions, including information technology, procurement, inventory control and human resources and workforce development.

Mr. Dangerfield completed his undergraduate work and earned a masters degree in business administration from Frostburg State University.  He is a member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, the American Association of Airport Executives and the Airport Minority Advisory Council.

                                        

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 5, 2013

Contact:          Cheryl Sparks

                        410-537-1017

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY READIES FOR WINTER STORM

Follow the MDTA on Facebook, Twitter & 1-877-BAYSPAN for Updates

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), the agency that finances, owns, operates and maintains the State's eight toll facilities, is preparing for the winter storm predicted to start this evening and continue through tomorrow.  Crews are on hand in anticipation of the storm.

The MDTA, whose facilities include four bridges, two tunnels, two turnpikes and their approach roadways, will tackle tomorrow’s storm with maximum resources.  The agency has 258 pieces of equipment and over 36,000 tons of salt available to handle its over xxx highway miles.  Maryland Transportation Authority Police will be fully staffed at all detachments and will increase the use of four wheel drive vehicles to augment their current patrol fleet.

As the MDTA prepares for potentially severe weather, it has no immediate plans to close any toll facilities in anticipation of the storm.  Any decision to close a toll facility would be based upon current weather and road conditions at a given facility.  The MDTA will make every effort to keep all of its facilities open as long as conditions are deemed safe to do so. 

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.


The MDTA offers the following tips for its customers if they must travel during the storm:

·        Reduce speeds on bridges and elevated roadways as they freeze prior to other road surfaces.

·        Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you.

·        Watch for snow plows and other equipment – do not pass.

·        Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt – devote your full attention to driving.

·        Know before you go:

o       Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA for the most up-to-date information.

o       For Bay Bridge traffic conditions 24/7, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit baybridge.com to view live traffic images and to sign up for email alerts.

o        For statewide travel conditions, visit MD511.ORG or call 511.

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

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 1, 2013

Contact:          Cheryl M. Sparks

                        410-537-1017

MICHAEL KUNDRAT NAMED MDTA POLICE CHIEF

BALTIMORE, MD - Following a national recruitment, the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) has named MDTA Police Major Michael Kundrat as its new Chief of Police effective today.

Chief Kundrat joined the MDTA Police in March 2007 at the rank of Major and served as Chief of Staff and Patrol Commander before being named Acting Police Chief in August 2011.  His State service was preceded by a 26-year career with the Baltimore Police Department.

Chief Kundrat was selected following an extensive interview process of highly qualified candidates, said MDTA Board Member and Human Resource Committee Chair Rev. Dr. William C. Calhoun Sr.   Chief Kundrat brings to this position a decorated police career of progressive responsibility and leadership, a successful tenure as Acting MDTA Police Chief, a commitment to diversity and a solid strategic vision for the MDTA Police force.  Chief Kundrat is a leader and partner of the highest professionalism and integrity. 

The MDTA received 82 applications in response to the October-November 2012 recruitment.  Twenty-nine applicants met the mandatory education and experience requirements, with 12 moving into the interview process.

The MDTA Police are a critical element of everything we do at the Authority, and I am confident in Chief Kundrats ability to lead the seventh largest police force in the State, said MDTA Executive Secretary Harold M. Bartlett.  Chief Kundrat shares my passion for training, equipping and motivating a top-notch police force.  He understands that the MDTA Police not only enforce and protect, but serve Marylands citizens and visitors.

Through Chief Kundrats leadership, the MDTA Police became the States first police agency to earn the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) TriArc Award.  Only six other police agencies nationwide have received this prestigious award.

Being named MDTA Police Chief is an honor for me and my family.  I have been entrusted with significant responsibility and vow to be a role model for my command staff and officers as we uphold the laws of our State and serve our fellow citizens, said Chief Kundrat.

After growing up in Westminster, Md., Chief Kundrat joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1980.  He began his career as a patrol officer in the Northeast District and went on to become a supervisor and commander in the Patrol Division, the Tactical Section (SWAT) and the Criminal Intelligence Section.  He was serving as Commander of the Southeast District when he retired.  Chief Kundrat has received numerous awards during his career, including the Silver Star and Bronze Star from the Baltimore Police.

Chief Kundrat lives in Harford County with his wife of 28 years.  They have three sons.