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Governor O’Malley Announces Nearly $1.5 Billion in Transportation Investments for Baltimore Metropolitan Region

 Investments will support more than 13,000 jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and revitalize communities

BALTIMORE, MD  – Governor Martin O’Malley today announced nearly $1.5 billion in transportation investments for the Baltimore Metropolitan Region that will support more than 13,000 jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and revitalize communities. Governor O’Malley was joined by  Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and other key officials. Standing at West Baltimore MARC station, a future station on the Red Line, the Governor highlighted  $689 million in investments for the Red Line project, including $519 million for construction.

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 “Thanks to the better choices we’ve made together, we’ve been able to put hardworking Marylanders back to work,”  said Governor O’Malley. “That didn’t happen by accident. To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments like the ones we are announcing today for the Baltimore region.”

 “Addressing our transportation needs here in Baltimore, and throughout Maryland, remains one of the toughest challenges we face as a state,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “As we look to the future, we must remain committed to building a 21st century transportation network that supports a growing, 21st century economy. The projects we’re announcing today are an important step towards ensuring that our state remains economically competitive, and Marylanders spend less time and money sitting in traffic.”

 Governor O’Malley today also delivered on his promise to launch the first-ever MARC Train weekend service by announcing service will start on Saturday, December 7, 2013 on the Penn Line. Saturday will offer nine round trips between Penn Station in Baltimore and Union Station in Washington, D.C.  Sunday will offer six round trips between Penn Station and Union Station.

 With the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which allows Maryland to activate long-term strategies to invest in Maryland’s transportation systems, the State is putting people back to work in the transportation industry with $4.4 billion in new investments in the next six years. Maryland will create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and provide Marylanders with the transportation infrastructure necessary to grow and prosper for decades to come.

 

Today’s announcement provides nearly $1.5 billion in key projects for the Baltimore Metropolitan Region, including:

  • $46 million to operate the first-ever MARC Train weekend service. Service on the Penn Line will start onSaturday, December 7, 2013, and will provide nine round trips on Saturdays and six round trips on Sundays;

  • $52 million for MARC Commuter Rail improvements to purchase 10 new diesel locomotives and to add two daily round trips to weekday service on the MARC Camden Line;

  •  $689 million in State funds for right-of-way acquisition, final design and to initiate construction of the Red Line ($170 million for right way and final design and $519 million for construction);

  • $246 million to replace Baltimore Metro Subway’s 100 railcar fleet and 15 miles of signaling systems;

  • $75 million in construction funds to build a new Kirk Bus Division transportation and storage building in Baltimore City;

  • $12 million in operating assistance (FY 2014-2019) for the Charm City Circulator in Baltimore City;

  • $29 million in right-of-way funds to reconstruct the existing MD 175 / MD 295 interchange near Ft. Meade in Anne Arundel County;

  • $43 million in construction funds to improve key intersections along access routes to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County;

  • $29 million in construction funds to make safety improvements on I-695 at the Harford Road interchange in Baltimore County;

  • $60 million in construction funds to improve traffic flow on I-695 at Leeds Avenue and replace two bridges in this vicinity in Baltimore County;

  • $86 million in construction funds to widen I-695 Outer Loop from US 40 to MD 144 in Baltimore County;

  • $8 million in construction funds to build a sound wall along I-95 near the Lawyers Hill Community in Howard County;

  • $20 million in construction funds to provide streetscape improvements to MD 30 Business in Hampstead in Carroll County;

  • $3 million in right-of-way funds to widen MD 140 at Painters Mill Road in Baltimore County;

  • $7 million in construction funds to provide streetscape improvements to MD 755 in Edgewood in Harford County;

  • $48 million in construction funds to widen US 29 northbound in Howard County; and

  • $2 million planning project to examine adding a fourth lane on eastbound US 50 over the Severn River Bridge from Rowe Boulevard to MD 2 and other improvements to reduce traffic congestion at this well-known bottleneck in Anne Arundel County.

“A reliable and well maintained infrastructure is vital to create jobs today in construction and jobs tomorrow through economic growth,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These public investments in Baltimore’s transportation infrastructure are smart funding that is laying the groundwork for our future. Maryland can count on me to keep fighting for our state’s fair share of federal formula funding to help pay for improvements to our highways, byways and transit systems.”

“Marylanders currently waste too much time, money and gas in gridlock. I’m proud that the federal government has been a strong partner with Maryland to modernize and add affordable, convenient transportation choices connecting Maryland communities with the places we live, work and play,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “Robust investments in transportation infrastructure, including roads, rails and trails, are investments in job creation and economic development across the region.”

“Once completed, these transportation investments will allow thousands of our neighbors throughout the Region to reach good jobs at a commuter cost that they can better afford,” U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings said. “Baltimore and Washington will both progress as MARC riders gain convenient access to MARC travel on the weekends.  Howard County’s residents will travel on US 29 more efficiently and safely; and Baltimore City’s transit system will become more modern and better maintained. Our Governor, Lt. Governor and local leaders have understood these challenges and acted accordingly.  For that, they deserve our appreciation and applause.”

“These projects are exactly the type of common sense investments government should be prioritizing in this difficult economy. Investing in infrastructure – especially mass transit – is one of the smartest things we can do to create jobs, increase the competitiveness of American businesses and keep people and products on the move,” said U.S. Congressman  C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. “Every American business and worker relies on safe, dependable and efficient transit and I am proud of the teamwork on that federal, state, local and private level that will get these projects moving.”

“Building an efficient, safe, and reliable transportation network is critical to continued economic growth and making sure Marylanders can get where they need to go,” said U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes. “I will continue working with Governor O’Malley and my colleagues in the Maryland Congressional delegation to make investments that improve our physical infrastructure for the next generation while creating jobs and expanding our economy.”

“Today is about showing the state that Baltimore City wants the Red Line and understands that building an integrated, world class transit system is critical for creating jobs and providing citizens with better access to those jobs,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “ These critical investments are the key to unlocking Baltimore’s potential to grow and will create a regional transportation system that connects Baltimore to major job centers in surrounding communities.”

“These projects, whether aimed at road safety, relieving congestion, or improving access to sustainable transit options all contribute to job creation, the health of our business community and a better quality of life for our citizens,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch.

“No County is more affected by traffic on the Beltway than Baltimore County,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  “I am very pleased that Governor O’Malley is funding more than $130 million for a variety of projects that will directly impact the lives of the thousands of commuters in the County.  These improvements will also create thousands of jobs helping families and businesses all across the region. “

Over the summer months, Governor O’Malley announced a series of projects across the State made possible by the Transportation Act.  The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) draft six-year transportation budget was published yesterday.  This budget, known as the Consolidated Transportation Program, provides a full list of the new projects funded by the Transportation Act. See attached $4.4 billion list of new projects. This budget is posted on MDOT’s website at www.mdot.maryland.gov.

 About the Red Line

The Red Line is a 14.1-mile, east-west light rail link connecting Woodlawn in Baltimore County to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus on the east side of Baltimore City.  The Red Line is a crucial part of Baltimore’s comprehensive transit network as it will provide key connections to north-south light rail lines, Metro Subway, MARC train and numerous bus lines.  The Red Line also will play an integral role in a Baltimore Regional transit system that connects people to employment centers, hospitals, restaurants, sports venues and cultural districts, and takes people to where they want to go.  The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) completed the Red Line’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in December 2012, and the Federal Transit Administration issued its Record of Decision in March 2013.

 MTA intends to develop the Red Line using a primarily design-bid-build approach, and award a sequence of contracts according to a contract packaging plan.  The exception is a group of project elements that could be delivered through a public-private partnership (P3), a long-term, performance-based agreement between MTA and a private entity where appropriate risks and benefits will be allocated in a cost-effective manner between the contractual partners.  Design-bid-build contracts will be utilized to deliver the majority of project elements including tunnels, structures, surface segments, surface and underground stations, elevators and escalators, utility relocations and stormwater management facilities.  A group of transit elements will be examined for third-party P3 provision to include the railcars, operations center and maintenance facility, track, signals, and power, as well as maintenance of those elements.  The private entity would be responsible for designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining the specific assets that are within the scope of the rolling stock and systems elements of the overall project.  In return, MDOT will pay the private entity periodic payments, subject to performance deductions, which will provide strong incentives for the concessionaire to deliver high quality service for the assets under its responsibility.  The Red Line is proposed to be funded with Transportation Trust Funds, federal funds, regional contributions and investments by the private entity.  Pending funding, construction could start as early as 2015 and be open for service by 2021.  Daily ridership in 2030 is forecast to be 54,000.

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