Maryland governor restores $150 million of previously proposed cuts to transportation

There’s money for the MARC Brunswick  line, but no new funding for US 15 widening.

Governor Wes Moore  (AP  Photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced Tuesday he is restoring $150 million in previously proposed transportation cuts.

The money will restore funding in the state’s transportation budget for one year. The administration initially proposed a $3.3 billion cut to the state’s six-year spending plan for transportation.

Part of the $150 million that is being allocated will include $52 million to fully restore state transportation funds to local governments known as Highway User Revenue. Another $26 million will fully restore locally operated transit system operating grants.

In addition, the administration is restoring $28 million in Maryland Transit Administration commuter bus funding to maintain service on the highest ridership routes.

Other areas of restored funding include:

— $15 million for critical repair needs at the Maryland Transit Administration to meet required funding levels under the Transit Safety and Investment Act.

— $10 million in State Highway Administration highway mowing and litter removal funding to maintain roadways and communities.

— $8 million in MARC Brunswick Line operating resources to maintain the frequency of commuter rail to West Virginia and to launch a new midday service pilot.

“These resources will benefit Marylanders in rural, urban, and suburban areas, making sure that MDOT is able to provide for the residents who depend on these programs the most,” Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul Wiedefeld said in a statement.

But there’s no additional funding for widening US 15 from Interstate  70 to Route 26 in Frederick.  It’s been   the county’s top transportation priority  since   2014.

“That $26-million was cut.  $7- million remains in the budget for design money.  But we’d like the whole amount restored.,” said Frederick County Delegate  Ken Kerr.

In a statement to WFMD News,  MDOT spokesman David Broughton said in regards to US 15 widening “the focus is on key operations needs for the state and local government alongside State of Good Repair and maintenance activities.”

Broughton noted that Frederick County is receiving some additional money in the budget restoration.    TransIT of Frederick County is receiving an additional $162,000 for a total amount of $3.2 million.  Also, he said., $1.4 million dollars additional in fiscal year 2025 is coming to Frederick County and its municipalities in highway user revenue for a total of $11.8 million.

By The Associated Press