County Executive Lists Construction Funding For Rt. 15 As Top Transportation Priority

She spoke to MDOT officials Wed. during their visit to Frederick.


Frederick, Md (KM) The number-one transportation priority for Frederick County is construction funding for Route 15 between Interstate 70 and Route 26. During the annual visit by the Maryland Department of Transportation on Wednesday, County Executive Jan Gardner told MDOT officials that was the biggest local need. “That roadway fails during peak hours in the morning; peak hours in the afternoon. The peak hours are getting longer.. If there’s an accident, it {the traffic} mdumps off on the side streets and creates really significant issues in the community,” she says.

Gardner said that project ,according to the 2015 schedule, was supposed  to be completed in 2020.

While not announcing funding for this project, State Highway Administrator Greg Slater said  a major improvement for Route 15 is coming.   “This spring, another MDOT–SHA project will provide a continuous auxiliary lane southbound on US 15 from Maryland 26 to Motter Avenue,” he said. “This project will be finished by the end of 2020.”

MDOT is visiting  all 23 countries and Baltimore City this  year to present its six-year Draft Consolidated Transportation Program for 2020-2025 to local officials for review and comment. It will prepare a final budget to present to the General Assembly in January. The current Draft CTP invests $15.3-billion dollars in Maryland’s transportation network.

The County’s  other major priorities are design funding for widening Route 85 from Ballenger Creek to Guilford Drive, and project planning funding to widen Route 194 from two to four lanes from Route 26 to Devilbiss Bridge Road.

In addition to roads, other local elected officials wanted to see an expansion of the MARC Commuter Rail. Delegate Carol Krimm mentioned that $125-million in federal funding has been set aside  for improvements to the Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore., which will allow the double-stacking of containers from the Port of Baltimore. “I know doesn’t impact here. But that’s a $125-million investment that is going to be made for CSX,” Krimm noted. “I just don’t understand why we can’t leverage that to get more track time for MARC train.”

State Senator Ron Young asked that MARC be expanded to at least one trip a day to and from Frederick on Saturdays and Sundays, after the proposed downtown hotel and conference center is constructed in Frederick. . “Biotech companies hope to bring in national and international conferences,”: he said. “It would make it a lot easier for people to fly into National  and   to be able to come up here on rail and to go back on rail.”

County Executive Gardner also asked state funding for para-transit, which could take senior citizens to doctor’s appointments, especially dialysis treatment. “I have with local dollars expanded that service every year because we were literally at the point of turning away 100 trips a month which is really unacceptable if it’s for dialysis and life-saving needs for our seniors,” she said.

There was some local news for Frederick Municipal Airport. Ashish Solanki with the Maryland Aviation Administration says the agency will spend $2.5-million in fiscal year 2020 in improvements to public use airports. “We’re pleased to announce that Frederick Municipal Airport will receive $308,000 to support their runway extension program as well  new snow removal equipment,” he says.


By Kevin McManus