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Open Letter to Senator Mikulski; RE: Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge

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Posted on March 20, 2006:

Senator Dyson The Honorable Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senate
709 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2003

Dear Senator Mikulski:

As you are well aware, the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge, which links Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, has been a concern of mine for several years. For this reason, I have submitted during the past two General Assembly Sessions, legislation that would mandate that the Maryland Department of Transportation fund a new span almost immediately.

Unfortunately, this legislation has failed to get out of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee at the request of MDOT.

That is why I am requesting you pursue federal funding to initiate immediate funding for construction of a new span at the site of this woefully inadequate bridge. As it stands now, the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge does not effectively service the many needs of those who commute across it. Gridlock during the morning and evening rush hours is routine on the bridge. It is far worse when there are accidents at this site which is a common occurance.

I also question the safety of the existing structure and the safety of those who use it not only for what I believe are structural problems with the bridge, but also for those who would use it if an emergency were to occur at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, the Dominion LNG facility or the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear plant.

The need for a new bridge was never clearer to me than yesterday when a major fire broke out on Solomons Island. Thankfully, our magnificent Volunteer Fire and Rescue personnel were able to get to the scene easily and put the fire out in a relatively quick time. If this fire had not been contained so quickly, there was a very reasonable possibility that more fire personnel from St. Mary’s County would have been needed and the island would have had to be completely evacuated. In both cases, the St. Mary’s fire departments and the evacuees would have needed easy access across the bridge. Luckily, this did not happen, but it underscores the need for federal funding for a new bridge. If the Congress can pass and the President can sign a bill that funds the infamously outrageously costly “Bridge to Nowhere” I believe the citizens of Calvert and St. Mary’s County who truly need a new span, should get one from their federal representatives.

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you soon.


Sincerely,


Maryland Senator Roy Dyson
District 29

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