State Officials Discuss More Than $104.6 Million In Transportation Projects For Charles County

LAPLATA, MD (September 27, 2004) - Delivering on Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.'s, promise to invest in a strong transportation network, Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan announced new projects are being added for the first time in four years to the Maryland Department of Transportation's (MDOT) six-year capital transportation program. These new projects are being made possible by Governor Ehrlich's landmark transportation funding package that passed in the 2004 legislative session. This package provides an additional $237 million annually to address needed safety and congestion relief improvements in every region of the State. In addition to individual projects, this transportation funding increase also will produce more money that goes directly to the counties and municipalities through the highway user revenues, including an average of $807,000 more a year for Charles County and a total of $4.8 million for the county during the next six years. This new funding initiative is Maryland's first increase in transportation funding in more than a decade.

"A promise made is a promise now kept," said Governor Ehrlich. "The Ehrlich-Steele Administration is committed to investing in transportation that makes a real difference for Marylanders from reducing congestion to creating better transit. Today marks a new day for the residents of Charles County. For the first time in four years, we are adding new transportation projects across the State, thanks to Senator Middleton and Delegates Hennessey, Jameson, Mitchell, O'Donnell and Woods who supported my transportation funding package."

During today's meeting, Secretary Flanagan discussed Governor Ehrlich's commitment made earlier this year to build the Hughesville bypass.

Today's meeting with local elected officials is part of the Department's annual statewide tour to discuss ongoing and upcoming transportation projects as it develops Maryland's six-year capital construction program. This program will be submitted to the General Assembly in January 2005. Known as the Consolidated Transportation Program, or CTP, the draft program discussed today calls for a total statewide investment of $9 billion in transportation improvements to be made during Fiscal Years 2005 through 2010.

Thanks to his new transportation funding package, Governor Ehrlich has announced new projects across the State, including:

- US 113, MD 404, and the Dover Bridge on the Eastern Shore;
- Oakland Bypass in Garrett County;
- Hughesville Bypass in Charles County;
- Hampstead Bypass in Carroll County;
- MD 124 widening in Montgomery County;
- MD 4 and Suitland Parkway Interchange in Prince George's County;
- Baltimore Beltway improvements in the Baltimore region;
- Capital Beltway improvements in the Washington region; and
- Dozens of streetscapes and community enhancement projects across the State.

"The Governor's investment in Maryland's transportation network allows us to take long-awaited projects off the shelf and put them back into the pipeline," said Secretary Flanagan. "After years of neglect, the Department of Transportation can get back to the business of building highways and creating transit systems that meet the needs of today's traveling public. The State of Maryland is committed to 'Transportation that Works!'"

Also joining Secretary Flanagan today was State Highway Administrator Neil Pedersen, SHA District Engineer Greg Welker, Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Secretary Tom Osborne, Maryland Transit Administration Planning Director Simon Taylor and Motor Vehicle Administration District Manager Joyce Riddle.

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