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Date: Aug 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 30, 2017

 

HEAVY LABOR DAY WEEKEND TRAFFIC ANTICIPATED AT MDTA TOLL FACILITIES

SandOText

BALTIMORE, MD -- As summer comes to an unofficial close, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the more than 1.8 million motorists anticipated to travel its facilities over the Labor Day holiday weekend to plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe. This total represents a 1% increase in traffic volumes compared to last year.

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, Sept. 1, and Monday, Sept. 4:

  • William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) - more than 356,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - more than 441,600.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) - more than 465,200.

An additional 561,000 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 totals represent traffic in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend:

· Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:

  • Thursday - before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Friday - before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
  • Saturday - before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Sunday - before 8 a.m. and after midnight
  • Labor Day Monday - before 10 a.m. and after midnight

· Avoid the Flock!

  • For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov. Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
  • Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras and to sign up for email alerts.
  • Get there faster with E-ZPass! Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass "On the Go" retail locations.

· Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.

· Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore during your holiday travels. Visit mdta.maryland.gov for toll rates.

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. Additional MDTA Police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles during the holiday weekend. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1, to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Construction Reminders:

· I-95 improvement project north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel is underway. Current traffic pattern features no left shoulder and only a small right shoulder on northbound I-95. All lanes are open in both directions.

· I-895 Patapsco River Flats bridge deck and superstructure replacement continues. Current traffic pattern features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 on I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge near Baltimore/Washington Parkway. Motorists should consider I-95 as an alternate route.

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

· Devote your full attention to driving - it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.

· Buckle Up! Every Seat. Every Time.

· State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.

· Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.

· Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.

· Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.

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

· Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.

· Make sure your vehicle is "road ready."

· If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.

· When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:

  • The location of the emergency;
  • A call-back telephone number; and
  • Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.

The E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Centers will be closed on Monday, Sept. 4. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824.

For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.

The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 16, 2017

 

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY SAVES

$210 MILLION THROUGH BOND REFINANCING

 

Credit Rating Agencies Reaffirm MDTA's Ratings

BALTIMORE, MD - The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will save $210 million in debt service over the next 24 years as part of a recent refunding and partial cash payoff of outstanding bonds. Lower annual debt payments allow the MDTA to invest more money in infrastructure needs across Maryland's toll facilities. Over the next six years, the MDTA's capital program totals $2.6 billion.

"Since the MDTA is self-sufficient and does not receive General Fund or Transportation Trust Fund dollars, this $210 million in savings will go directly back into Maryland's toll facilities," said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn.

In 2007, the MDTA issued $300 million in bonds backed by toll revenues while constructing the Intercounty Connector and the I-95 Express Toll Lanes. In July 2017, the MDTA held a competitive sale to refund these bonds. Refunding bonds is similar to refinancing a home mortgage and allows the borrower to take advantage of current interest rates to lower costs. The refunding lowered the MDTA's true interest cost from 4.64% to 3.06%.

Prior to the sale, the three major credit rating agencies reaffirmed the MDTA's credit ratings at AA- from Fitch Ratings and Standard & Poor's and Aa3 by Moody's Investors Service. Both Moody's and Fitch have upgraded the MDTA's outlook from Stable to Positive within the last year.

"The savings produced as part of this creative and forward thinking transaction is a great example of how the MDTA takes seriously its responsibility to be good financial stewards of toll dollars," said MDTA Executive Director Kevin C. Reigrut. "As an agency fully funded by toll revenues, the MDTA uses a balanced approach between today's toll rates and long-term needs.

In addition, during the last two years, the MDTA has returned more than $50 million annually to drivers through toll rate and fee reductions and has fully funded the new $769 million US 301 Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge project. The Nice Bridge project also saved MDTA $200 million in toll dollars through practical design.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 9, 2017

 

MDTA PROJECT MANAGER RETIRES AFTER

40 YEARS OF STATE SERVICE

BALTIMORE, MD – After 40 years of state service, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Project Manager Glen Smith of Baltimore County retired on Friday, June 30.  During the course of his 40-year career, Glen was known for his meticulous and thorough understanding of the numerous projects he oversaw.    

“Glen was an incredibly reliable employee,” said MDTA Director of Planning and Program Development Melissa Williams.  “He was someone you could always count on for a quick quip.  He made our division better during his 11 years with the MDTA.”

Glen began his career with the Maryland Department of Transportation in 1976, when he joined the State Highway Administration.  He started as a drafter and worked his way up to highway design from 1982 to 1992.  In 1992, Glen was promoted to Highway Engineer and was promoted to DOT Engineer V in 1997. 

Glen joined the MDTA in February 2006 and served as an Engineering Transportation Manager for 11 years in the Division of Planning and Program Development.  He played a significant role in managing numerous projects that improved the safety and preservation of Maryland’s toll facilities.  Mr. Smith managed the planning phase of the Nice Bridge Improvement Project, which is scheduled to begin construction in 2020.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 7, 2017

 

NEW MDTA DIRECTOR OF PLANNING AND PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT NAMED

 

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is pleased to announce that Baltimore County resident Melissa Williams has been named the agency’s Director of Planning and Program Development.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead my team in new and exciting directions,” said Ms. Williams. “The MDTA will undertake a lot challenging projects in the next several years, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Ms. Williams has been with the Maryland Department of Transportation family for nearly 20 years.  She began her career at the State Highway Administration in the Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering as an assistant project manager.  In 2002, Ms. Williams joined the MDTA’s Office of Engineering and Construction, where she was its first full-time project planning manager.  

During her 15 years with the MDTA, Ms. Williams has worked on numerous noteworthy projects including the I-95 Master Plan, the I-95 Section 100 and Section 200 studies, the Nice Bridge Improvement Project and the Bay Bridge Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study.  She also contributed to the growth of the Division of Planning and Program Development, as one of its original staff members.

Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters of Environmental Engineering Degree from Johns Hopkins University.

In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with the Miss America Organization and at the Ronald McDonald House.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 4, 2017

 

GOVERNOR HOGAN APPOINTS NEW MEMBER TO

MARYLAND TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY BOARD

BALTIMORE, MD - Governor Larry Hogan has appointed real estate executive Dontae Carroll of White Plains in Charles County to serve as the newest board member at the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA). Mr. Carroll was appointed on July 22 for a four-year term on the MDTA Board.

"I am confident Mr. Carroll's background in sales and operations will be an asset to an already strong and diverse MDTA governing body," said MDTA Chairman and Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

As Long & Foster Real Estate's Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Northern Virginia and West Virginia, Mr. Carroll oversees the company's largest and most profitable region, which produces $10 billion in annual sales and more than 15,000 settled transactions. Previously, he served as Vice President of Business Development, Mid-Atlantic Region, for Century 21 LLC.

Mr. Carroll received his bachelors of business administration degree in marketing from Loyola University Maryland.

"I am honored to receive this appointment and look forward to working with MDTA's well-respected organization and talented team," said Mr. Carroll.

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