For immediate release:
November 21, 2016
Governor Larry Hogan Announces $765 Million for New Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge
Construction to Begin in 2020, Completion Anticipated in 2023 – Seven Years Sooner than Legislatively Mandated Plan
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Standing at the base of the 75-year-old Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge, Governor Larry Hogan today announced $765 million in funding for construction of a new Potomac River crossing from Charles County, Maryland, to King George County, Virginia. This crossing is vital to the nation’s security and to the quality of life of thousands of Marylanders who depend on this bridge daily for work, business, and recreation. The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) anticipates advertising a design-build contract for the new bridge in 2018, starting construction in 2020, and opening a new, wider, and safer bridge in 2023 – seven years sooner than the plan legislatively mandated this past session through Senate Bill 907.
Currently, there are 1,073 transportation projects, totaling nearly $8 billion dollars, under construction across the state – a record amount for the state of Maryland.
“With this announcement, I am extremely proud to officially dedicate more than $760 million dollars to fully fund a new Potomac River bridge and finally replace the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge,” said Governor Hogan. “From the start, our administration has consistently taken every step necessary to expeditiously push forward with this much-needed replacement project and going forward we will continue to push to ensure it’s completed as fast and efficiently as possible. Simply put, Marylanders deserve better than the daily congestion caused by the current bridge and with the construction of this new bridge, they will finally get it.”
Governor Hogan and the administration have been strong advocates for replacing the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge since taking office. Under the governor’s leadership, the Board of Public Works approved a $15 million contract for preliminary design and engineering of the replacement bridge in 2015. In addition, the administration allocated over $61 million toward this project in the FY 2017-2022 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP). Using this funding, MDTA has begun preliminary engineering for the new bridge, which includes environmental studies, test borings, right-of-way acquisition, and preliminary engineering for replacement designs. This is the final step before design can begin.
With only one, narrow lane in each direction, the existing bridge causes near daily congestion and traffic issues. Routine maintenance and large-scale preservation efforts have significant traffic impacts. The new bridge will be built north of and parallel to the existing 1.7-mile bridge and will include two lanes of traffic in each direction and a barrier-separated bicycle and pedestrian path.
MDTA was able to reduce the initial $1 billion price tag of the project by more than $200 million by taking a practical design approach to the new bridge. This project is anticipated to support an estimated 1,180 jobs per year over five years.
“By right-sizing the bridge design, we’re able to deliver an affordable new bridge and do it years sooner,” said Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn.
Without the construction of this project, the current bridge would have required a major rehabilitation project in the next five years. The MDTA will demolish the existing bridge after the new bridge opens.