MDOT Officials To Start Annual State Tour

They will visit all 23 counties and Baltimore city to discuss transportation.

Frederick, Md. (KM)  It’s time for the annual Maryland Department of Transportation statewide tour. Officials, including Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn, and Deputy Secretary Jim Ports, will be making stops all over the state from September through November. “We do the annual tour every year  for 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City to update local officials and the public about our six-year budget,” says MDOT spokeswoman Erin Henson.

The budget is called the Consolidated Transportation Program from fiscal year 2017 to 2022. “And how it will impact each county and also to get input from elected officials and the public on what they’d like to see in their county,” says Henson. She says MDOT will take all that input and decide whether  to make changes to the CTP before it’s submitted to the General Assembly and the Governor in January.

Transportation Department officials will be visiting Frederick on Thursday, October 13th. They will hold their meeting at 7:00 PM in the first floor hearing room at WInchester Hall.

Henson says the discussion about transportation isn’t always about highways. “Particularly in your area, we will have our aviation folks there as well and highways and transit to talk about the locally operated transit grant we provide as well,” she says.

As part of the CTP process, each county needs to submit its priorities to MDOT in spring. It’s expected to be included in the draft CTP for state funding.

Frederick County’s priorities are construction funding for Route 15 from I-70 to Route 26. This funding is expected to eliminate the only segment within the Route 15 and I-270 multi-modal study which is over capacity in both directions at peak hours. The county says this will improve access to Fort Detrick, which is the county’s top employer.

The second item is a request for project planning funding for Route 194 from Route 26 to Devilbiss Bridge Road. Plans are to widen Route 194 from a two-lane to a four-lane divided highway. Right-of-way has been acquired, according to the county.

The third item is design funding for Route 85 from  Spectrum Drive to Guilford Drive. The county plans are to widen and reconstruct Route 85 to a six-lane divided highway with bicycle and pedestrian improvements.

Henson says  MDOT works on these projects and those from other parts of the state to get them into the draft CTP.

The Department says part of the visit by agency officials will include an explanation of the scoring and the ranking of projects that are required under state law.

By Kevin McManus